contaminate[kən tam′ə nāt′]
- The definition of contaminate is to infect, corrupt or make impure.
An example of contaminate is to accidentally place raw chicken on the counter and not clean it up.
transitive verbcontaminated, contaminating
Origin of contaminateMiddle English contaminaten ; from Classical Latin contaminatus, past participle of contaminare, to defile ; from contamen, contact, contagion ; from com-, together + base of tangere, to touch: see tact
transitive verbcon·tam·i·nat·ed, con·tam·i·nat·ing, con·tam·i·nates
- To make impure or unclean by contact or mixture.
- To expose to or permeate with radioactivity.
- Linguistics To influence the semantic properties or phonological form of (a word or phrase); blend with: The Middle English word femelle was contaminated by the word male, resulting in the modern form female.
Origin of contaminateMiddle English contaminaten, from Latin contāmināre, contāmināt-; see tag- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present contaminates, present participle contaminating, simple past and past participle contaminated)
From Old French contaminer, from Latin contaminare (“to touch together, blend, mingle, corrupt, defile”), from contamen (“contact, defilement, contagion”), related to tangere.