Definition of contaminate in English:

Share this entry

contaminate

Pronunciation: /kənˈtamɪneɪt/

verb

[with object]
Make (something) impure by exposure to or addition of a poisonous or polluting substance: the site was found to be contaminated by radioactivity figurative celebrity has contaminated every aspect of public life (as adjective contaminated) contaminated blood products
More example sentences
  • Apparently parents emit poisonous substances which contaminate their kids in much the same way that humans pollute the environment.
  • They added somebody stealing food can be jailed while those who poison people by contaminating food can get away scot free.
  • Groundwater will be polluted, which would contaminate drinking water.
Synonyms
pollute, adulterate;
make impure, defile, debase, corrupt, taint, infect, blight, foul, spoil, soil, mar, impair, stain, befoul;
sully, tarnish;
poison;
radioactivate
formal vitiate

Derivatives

contaminator

noun
Example sentences
  • ‘Moisture is considered an oil contaminator, just like metal particles,’ Urbano continues.
  • This cleaning system is designed to safely and easily remove these contaminators from all your input devices.
  • It is not suitable for recycled aggregates because these may also contain inorganic contaminators.

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin contaminat- 'made impure', from the verb contaminare, from contamen 'contact, pollution', from con- 'together with' + the base of tangere 'to touch'.

More
  • contact from early 17th century:

    Contact and contagion (Late Middle English) both go back to Latin contingere ‘touched’ formed from con- ‘with’ and tangere ‘touch’. Contaminate (Late Middle English) is related.

Words that rhyme with contaminate

laminate

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: con|tam¦in|ate

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.