[ puh-loot ]
/ pəˈlut /
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See synonyms for: pollute / polluted / polluting 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.
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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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. 2022

How to use pollute in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for 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 of pollute

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

Medical definitions for pollute

[ pə-lōōt ]

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.

Other words from pollute

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