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pollute

[ puh-loot ]
/ pəˈlut /
||
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR pollute ON THESAURUS.COM

verb (used with object), pol·lut·ed, pol·lut·ing.

to make foul or unclean, especially with harmful chemical or waste products; dirty: to pollute the air with smoke.
to make morally unclean; defile.
to render ceremonially impure; desecrate: to pollute a house of worship.
Informal. to render less effective or efficient: The use of inferior equipment has polluted the company's service.

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RELATED WORDS

violate, infect, taint, foul, poison, contaminate, stain, sully, defile, befoul, mar, debase, profane, soil, dishonor, alloy, desecrate, dirty, spoil, debauch

Nearby words

pollock, sir frederick, pollster, polltaker, pollucite, pollutant, pollute, polluted, polluter, pollution, pollux, polly

Origin of pollute

1325–75; Middle English polute < Latin pollūtus past participle of polluere to soil, defile, equivalent to pol-, assimilated variant of por- (see pollicitation; here marking the action as complete) + -lū- base of -luere (akin to lutum mud, dirt, lustrum muddy place) + -tus past participle suffix
SYNONYMS FOR pollute
Related formspol·lut·er, nounpol·lu·tive, adjectivenon·pol·lut·ing, adjectiveun·pol·lut·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pollute

British Dictionary definitions for pollute

pollute

/ (pəˈluːt) /

verb (tr)

to contaminate, as with poisonous or harmful substances
to make morally corrupt or impure; sully
to desecrate or defile
Derived Formspolluter, noun

Word Origin for pollute

C14 polute, from Latin polluere to defile
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 pollute

pollute


v.

late 14c., "to defile," a back formation from pollution, or else from Latin pollutus, past participle of polluere "to defile, pollute, contaminate." Related: Polluted; polluting. Meaning "make physically foul" is from 1540s; specific sense "contaminate the environment" emerged from late 19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for pollute

pollute

[ pə-lōōt ]

v.

To make unfit for or harmful to living things, especially by the addition of waste matter; contaminate.
To make less suitable for an activity, especially by the introduction of unwanted factors.
Related formspol•luter n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.