pollute

pollute
verb
1)

fish farms will pollute the lake

Syn:
contaminate, adulterate, taint, poison, foul, dirty, soil, infect; literary befoul
Ant:
purify
2)

propaganda polluted this nation

Syn:
corrupt, poison, warp, pervert, deprave, defile, blight, sully; literary besmirch
••
pollute, adulterate, contaminate, defile, taint
When a factory pours harmful chemicals or wastes into the air or water, it is said to pollute the environment. But pollute may also refer to impairing the purity, integrity, or effectiveness of something (a campaign polluted by allegations of sexual impropriety). To contaminate is to spread harmful or undesirable impurities throughout something; unlike pollute, which suggests visible or noticeable impurities, contaminate is preferred where the change is unsuspected or not immediately noticeable (milk contaminated by radioactive fallout from a nuclear plant accident). Adulterate often refers to food products to which harmful, low-quality, or low-cost substances have been added in order to defraud the consumer (cereal adulterated with sawdust), although this word can apply to any mixture to which the inferior or harmful element is added deliberately and in the hope that no one will notice (a report adulterated with false statistics). To defile is to pollute something that should be kept pure or sacred (a church defiled by vandals), while taint implies that a trace of something toxic or corrupt has been introduced (he contracted the disease from a tainted blood transfusion; the book is tainted by gratuitous violence).

Thesaurus of popular words. 2014.

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  • Pollute — Pol*lute , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Polluted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Polluting}.] [L. pollutus, p. p. of polluere to defile, to pollute, from a prep. appearing only in comp. + luere to wash. See {Position}, {Lave}.] 1. To make foul, impure, or unclean; to …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pollute — UK US /pəˈluːt/ verb [I or T] ► ENVIRONMENT to make water, the air, or land dirty and not safe for people, animals, and plants, especially with waste or chemicals: »You don t need to pollute the planet to grow your economy. »He expects coal… …   Financial and business terms

  • pollute — ► VERB 1) contaminate with harmful or poisonous substances. 2) corrupt. DERIVATIVES pollutant adjective & noun polluter noun pollution noun. ORIGIN Latin polluere pollute, defile …   English terms dictionary

  • pollute — [pə lo͞ot′] vt. polluted, polluting [ME poluten < L pollutus, pp. of polluere, to pollute < * por , for per , intens. + luere, to soil < IE base * leu , dirt > Gr lyma, dirt] 1. to make unclean, impure, or corrupt; defile; dirty 2. to …   English World dictionary

  • Pollute — Pol*lute , a. [L. pollutus.] Polluted. [R.] Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pollute — I verb adulterate, alloy, befoul, begrime, bemire, besmirch, bespatter, contaminate, corrupt, debase, debauch, defile, degrade, denaturalize, deprave, desecrate, destroy, dirty, dishonor, filthify, foul, grime, impair, infect, maculate, make foul …   Law dictionary

  • pollute — (v.) late 14c., defile, from L. pollutus, pp. of polluere (see POLLUTION (Cf. pollution)). Related: Polluted; polluting. Meaning contaminate the environment first recorded 1954 …   Etymology dictionary

  • pollute — *contaminate, defile, taint, attaint Analogous words: *debase, vitiate, corrupt, deprave, pervert: *abuse, outrage, mistreat: profane, desecrate, blaspheme (see corresponding nouns at PROFANATION) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • pollute — [v] make dirty; corrupt adulterate, alloy, befoul, besmirch, contaminate, debase, debauch, defile, deprave, desecrate, dirty, dishonor, foul, infect, make filthy, mar, poison, profane, soil, spoil, stain, sully, taint, violate; concepts 246,254… …   New thesaurus

  • pollute — verb (T) 1 to make air, water, soil etc dangerously dirty and not suitable for people to use: beaches polluted by raw sewage | industrial emissions that pollute the air 2 pollute sb s mind to give someone immoral thoughts and spoil their… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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