Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

contaminate

[verb kuhn-tam-uh-neyt; noun, adjective kuhn-tam-uh-nit, -neyt]
See more synonyms for contaminate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), con·tam·i·nat·ed, con·tam·i·nat·ing.
  1. to make impure or unsuitable by contact or mixture with something unclean, bad, etc.: to contaminate a lake with sewage.
  2. to render harmful or unusable by adding radioactive material to: to contaminate a laboratory.
Show More
noun
  1. something that contaminates or carries contamination; contaminant.
Show More
adjective
  1. Obsolete. contaminated.
Show More

Origin of contaminate

1375–1425; late Middle English contaminaten < Latin contāminātus, past participle of contāmināre to defile, spoil, equivalent to con- con- + -tāminare, verbal derivative of *tāmen something touched < *tag-s-men, equivalent to tag-, variant stem of tangere to touch + -s-men resultative noun suffix; cf. examen
Related formscon·tam·i·na·ble, adjectivecon·tam·i·na·tive, adjectivecon·tam·i·na·tor, nouncon·tam·i·nous, adjectivenon·con·tam·i·na·ble, adjectivenon·con·tam·i·na·tive, adjectivere·con·tam·i·nate, verb (used with object), re·con·tam·i·nat·ed, re·con·tam·i·nat·ing.self-con·tam·i·nat·ing, adjectiveun·con·tam·i·na·ble, adjectiveun·con·tam·i·nat·ed, adjectiveun·con·tam·i·na·tive, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

harmpolluteinjuretarnishinfecttaintpoisoncorruptstainsullydefilepervertdebaseprofanesoilalloybefouldirtyspoildebauch

Examples from the Web for contaminate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for contaminate

contaminate

verb (kənˈtæmɪˌneɪt) (tr)
  1. to make impure, esp by touching or mixing; pollute
  2. to make radioactive by the addition of radioactive material
Show More
adjective (kənˈtæmɪnɪt, -ˌneɪt)
  1. archaic contaminated
Show More
Derived Formscontaminable, adjectivecontaminant, nouncontaminative, adjectivecontaminator, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Latin contamināre to defile; related to Latin contingere to touch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for contaminate

v.

early 15c., from Old French contaminer, from Latin contaminatus, past participle of contaminare "to defile," from contamen "contact, pollution," from com- "together" (see com-) + *tag-, base of tangere "to touch" (see tangent). Related: Contaminant (1934); contaminable.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

contaminate in Medicine

contaminate

(kən-tămə-nāt′)
v.
  1. To make impure or unclean by contact or mixture.
  2. To expose to or permeate with radioactivity.
Show More
Related formscon•tam•i•nant (-nənt) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.