9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[puh-loot-nt] /pəˈlut nt/
something that pollutes.
any substance, as certain chemicals or waste products, that renders the air, soil, water, or other natural resource harmful or unsuitable for a specific purpose.
Origin of pollutant
1890-95; pollute + -ant
Related forms
nonpollutant, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pollutant
  • Damp wood smolders and creates more of every pollutant.
  • Fuel duty has also served as a useful environmental weapon, since it accurately targets a pollutant and changes behaviour.
  • Ask students to describe what would happen if a certain type of pollutant, which kills a certain kind of fish, entered the bay.
  • Ask students what would happen if some kind of pollutant got onto the land.
  • Composting manure for fertilizer helps to keep it from becoming a pollutant.
  • When the process that produces a pollutant is stopped there is considerable environmental improvement.
  • The sulfur dioxide produced by these coal-fired power plants is a pollutant that contributes to the production of acid rain.
  • High pollutant levels spur county no-burn day today.
  • The desired outcome is to have a broader impact on outdoor air pollutant levels and reduce the cost of pollution control.
  • The one major pollutant that still lags behind is nitrogen oxides, which react with hydrocarbons to cause ozone, or smog.
British Dictionary definitions for pollutant


a substance that pollutes, esp a chemical or similar substance that is produced as a waste product of an industrial process
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
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Word Origin and History for pollutant

1888, from pollute + -ant. Related: Pollutants.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pollutant in Medicine

pollutant pol·lut·ant (pə-lōōt'nt)
Something that pollutes, especially a waste material that contaminates air, soil, or water.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pollutant in Science
A substance or condition that contaminates air, water, or soil. Pollutants can be artificial substances, such as pesticides and PCBs, or naturally occurring substances, such as oil or carbon dioxide, that occur in harmful concentrations in a given environment. Heat transmitted to natural waterways through warm-water discharge from power plants and uncontained radioactivity from nuclear wastes are also considered pollutants.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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