pollute

[ puh-loot ]
/ pəˈlut /

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.

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

ANTONYMS FOR pollute

1, 2 purify.

Related forms

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for polluter

  • Take the shipping industry—they are just as big a polluter as the airline industry, if not more.

    Branson Blasts Off|Matthew Dakotah|September 1, 2009|DAILY BEAST
  • From all time the polluter of a spring has been held accursed.

  • He fought a difficult fight all his life in a world that ignored him, except when it was denouncing him as a polluter of Society.

    The Art of Letters|Robert Lynd

British Dictionary definitions for polluter

pollute

/ (pəˈluːt) /

verb (tr)

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

Derived Forms

polluter, 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

Medicine definitions for polluter

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 forms

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