- To pollute is to dirty, contaminate or corrupt something or someone.
When you dump toxic waste into water, this is an example of a time when you pollute the water.
transitive verbpolluted, polluting
- to make unclean, impure, or corrupt; defile; dirty
- to contaminate (water, air, etc.) with harmful chemicals, waste material, etc.
Origin of polluteMiddle English poluten ; from Classical Latin pollutus, past participle of polluere, to pollute ; from an unverified form por-, for per-, intensive + -luere, to soil ; from Indo-European base an unverified form leu-, dirt from source Classical Greek lyma, dirt
transitive verbpol·lut·ed, pol·lut·ing, pol·lutes
- To make unfit for or harmful to living things, especially by the addition of waste matter. See Synonyms at contaminate.
- To make less suitable for an activity, especially by the introduction of unwanted factors: The stadium lights polluted the sky around the observatory.
- To render impure or morally harmful; corrupt: felt that the minds of young people were hopelessly polluted by television ads.
Origin of polluteMiddle English polluten, from Latin polluere, pollūt-.
(third-person singular simple present pollutes, present participle polluting, simple past and past participle polluted)
- To make something harmful, especially by the addition of some unwanted product.
- The factory polluted the river when it cleaned its tanks.
- To make something or somewhere less suitable for some activity, especially by the introduction of some unnatural factor.
- The lights from the stadium polluted the night sky, and we couldn't see the stars.
- (dated) To corrupt or profane
- But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.” —Revelation 21:8 (RSV)
- To violate sexually; to debauch; to dishonour.
- (rare) Polluted.