Contaminate meaning

kən-tăm'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.

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To make impure or unclean by contact or mixture.
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To expose to or permeate with radioactivity.
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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.

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One that contaminates; a contaminant.
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To make impure, infected, corrupt, radioactive, etc. by contact with something or by the addition of something; pollute; defile; sully; taint.
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Do not contaminate the peanut butter with the jelly.

This water is contaminated. It isn't safe to drink.

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To soil or corrupt by contact; to tarnish; to pollute.
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Origin of contaminate

  • Middle English contaminaten from Latin contāmināre contāmināt- tag- in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Old French contaminer, from Latin contaminare (“to touch together, blend, mingle, corrupt, defile”), from contamen (“contact, defilement, contagion”), related to tangere.
    From Wiktionary