[ dee-kuh n-tam-uh-neyt ]
/ ˌdi kənˈtæm əˌneɪt /

verb (used with object), de·con·tam·i·nated, de·con·tam·i·nat·ing.

to make (an object or area) safe for unprotected personnel by removing, neutralizing, or destroying any harmful substance, as radioactive material or poisonous gas.
to make free of contamination; purify: to decontaminate a sickroom.

Origin of decontaminate

First recorded in 1935–40; de- + contaminate

Related forms

de·con·tam·i·na·tion, nounde·con·tam·i·na·tive, adjectivede·con·tam·i·na·tor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for decontamination

British Dictionary definitions for decontamination


/ (ˌdiːkənˈtæmɪˌneɪt) /


(tr) to render (an area, building, object, etc) harmless by the removal, distribution, or neutralization of poisons, radioactivity, etc

Derived Forms

decontaminant, noundecontamination, noundecontaminative, adjectivedecontaminator, noun
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

Medicine definitions for decontamination


[ dē′kən-tăm′ə-nāshən ]


The removal or neutralization of a contaminating substance, such as poisonous gas or a radioactive material.

Related forms

de′con•tami•nate (-nāt′) v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.