[kuh n-tam-uh-ney-shuh n]
- the act of contaminating, or of making something impure or unsuitable by contact with something unclean, bad, etc.
- the act of contaminating, or of rendering something harmful or unusable by the addition of radioactive material: the contamination of food following a nuclear attack.
- the state of being contaminated: The manufacturer recalled the product because of possible salmonella contamination.
- Rare. something that contaminates a place or substance, as by making it impure, unsuitable, harmful, or unusable; a contaminant.
- an alternation in a linguistic form due to the influence of a related form, as the replacement in English of earlier femelle with female through the influence of male.
- the process of forming blends.Compare blend(def 9).
Origin of contamination
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- the act or process of contaminating or the state of being contaminated
- something that contaminates
- linguistics the process by which one word or phrase is altered because of mistaken associations with another word or phrase; for example, the substitution of irregardless for regardless by association with such words as irrespective
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
early 15c., from Latin contaminationem (nominative contaminatio), noun of action from past participle stem of contaminare (see contaminate). Figurative sense is from c.1620; specifically of radioactivity from 1913.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The act or process of rendering something harmful or unsuitable.
- The presence of extraneous, especially infectious, material that renders a substance or preparation impure or harmful.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.