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pollute

[puh-loot] /pəˈlut/
verb (used with object), polluted, polluting.
1.
to make foul or unclean, especially with harmful chemical or waste products; dirty:
to pollute the air with smoke.
2.
to make morally unclean; defile.
3.
to render ceremonially impure; desecrate:
to pollute a house of worship.
4.
Informal. to render less effective or efficient:
The use of inferior equipment has polluted the company's service.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English polute < Latin pollūtus past participle of polluere to soil, defile, equivalent to pol-, assimilated variant of por- (see pollicitation; here marking the action as complete) + -lū- base of -luere (akin to lutum mud, dirt, lustrum muddy place) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
polluter, noun
pollutive, adjective
nonpolluting, adjective
unpolluting, adjective
Synonyms
1. soil, befoul. 2. taint, contaminate, vitiate, corrupt, debase, deprave.
Antonyms
1, 2. purify.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for polluter

pollute

/pəˈluːt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to contaminate, as with poisonous or harmful substances
2.
to make morally corrupt or impure; sully
3.
to desecrate or defile
Derived Forms
polluter, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for polluter
n.

1540s, "one who renders unclean or impure," agent noun from pollute (v.). Ecological sense from 1958.

pollute

v.

late 14c., "to defile," a back formation from pollution, or else from Latin pollutus, past participle of polluere "to defile, pollute, contaminate." Related: Polluted; polluting. Meaning "make physically foul" is from 1540s; specific sense "contaminate the environment" emerged from late 19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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polluter in Medicine

pollute pol·lute (pə-lōōt')
v. pol·lut·ed, pol·lut·ing, pol·lutes

  1. To make unfit for or harmful to living things, especially by the addition of waste matter; contaminate.

  2. To make less suitable for an activity, especially by the introduction of unwanted factors.


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