the act of contaminating.
the state of being contaminated.
something that contaminates.
an alternation in a linguistic form due to the influence of a related form, as the replacement in English of earlier femelle with female through the influence of male.
the process of forming blends. Compare blend ( def 9 ).

1375–1425; late Middle English contaminacioun < Late Latin contāminātiōn- (stem of contāminātiō), equivalent to contāmināt(us) (see contaminate) + -iōn- -ion

noncontamination, noun
recontamination, noun
self-contamination, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
contamination (kənˌtæmɪˈneɪʃən)
1.  the act or process of contaminating or the state of being contaminated
2.  something that contaminates
3.  linguistics the process by which one word or phrase is altered because of mistaken associations with another word or phrase; for example, the substitution of irregardless for regardless by association with such words as irrespective

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1600, from L. contaminationem, noun of action from contaminare (see contaminate). Fig. sense is from c.1620; specifically of radioactivity from 1913.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

contamination con·tam·i·na·tion (kən-tām'ə-nā'shən)

  1. The act or process of rendering something harmful or unsuitable.

  2. The presence of extraneous, especially infectious, material that renders a substance or preparation impure or harmful.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in manuscript tradition, a blending whereby a single manuscript contains readings originating from different sources or different lines of tradition. In literature, contamination refers to a blending of legends or stories that results in new combinations of incident or in modifications of plot.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Both types of contamination can render the water unusable.
It says that the contamination outside the perimeter is not significant.
Economic repercussions hinge on intensity of nuclear contamination.
He thought there must have been some sort of contamination in the lab.
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