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pollute

[ puh-loot ]
/ pəˈlut /
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See synonyms for: pollute / polluted 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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Origin of pollute

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English polute, from Latin pollūtus, past participle of polluere “to soil, defile,” equivalent to pol-, assimilated variant of por- “forth, forward” (variant of prefix per- ), here marking completed action + -lū- base of -luere (akin to lutum “mud, dirt,” lustrum “muddy place”) + -tus past participle suffix; see per-
pol·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. 2021

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
polluter, noun
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

Medical 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.
pol•luter n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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