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pollute Syllabification: pol·lute
Pronunciation: /pəˈlo͞ot/

Definition of pollute in English:


[with object]
1Contaminate (water, air, or a place) with harmful or poisonous substances: the explosion polluted the town with dioxin (as adjective polluted) exposure to polluted air
More example sentences
  • The same giant livestock facilities that pollute our air and water are also the perfect breeding grounds for super-tough microbes.
  • Intensive use of pesticides and fertilizers seriously pollutes our water, soil, and air.
  • A factory polluting your air or water supply is a typical example of one.
contaminate, adulterate, taint, poison, foul, dirty, soil, infect
literary befoul
1.1Defile; corrupt: a society polluted by racism
More example sentences
  • Yet corruption pollutes society by lowering the authority of public office, and it lowers economic efficiency by destroying the principle of fair competition and imposes unnecessary costs on the private sector.
  • On the other hand, his ability to corrupt and pollute the moral atmosphere of the earth, should he pervert his way, is greater than anyone else's.
  • The condemned is reduced to a body to be kept and then eliminated in a ‘ritual expulsion of that which pollutes and defiles’.
corrupt, poison, warp, pervert, deprave, defile, blight, sully
literary besmirch


Late Middle English: from Latin pollut- 'soiled, defiled', from the verb polluere, based on the root of lutum 'mud'.

  • Pollute is from Latin polluere ‘to soil, defile’, formed from lutum ‘mud’.



Example sentences
  • There's room to explore new technologies but I think it is quite important that polluters pay to clean their own mess.
  • The Justice Department settled for a billion bucks, hailing this as one of the harshest penalties ever applied to polluters.
  • Consequently the big polluters, the highly industrialised countries which are mostly in the temperate zones, get away with it with relative impunity.

Words that rhyme with pollute

acute, argute, astute, beaut, Beirut, boot, bruit, brut, brute, Bute, butte, Canute, cheroot, chute, commute, compute, confute, coot, cute, depute, dilute, dispute, flute, galoot, hoot, impute, jute, loot, lute, minute, moot, newt, outshoot, permute, pursuit, recruit, refute, repute, route, salute, Salyut, scoot, shoot, Shute, sloot, snoot, subacute, suit, telecommute, Tonton Macoute, toot, transmute, undershoot, uproot, Ute, volute

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Pronunciation: fôrˈtisəˌmō
(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly