An adulterant is a substance that's added to a food, medicine, or other substance that makes it less effective or unsafe. High fructose corn syrup is sometimes used as an adulterant to make honey cheaper.

Adulterants are almost always added as a money-saving measure; they consist of substances that are less expensive than the actual product. Adding chicory to coffee without noting the addition on the label makes the chicory an adulterant. Water can be an adulterant too, if it's used to dilute a medication in order to make it cost less (and be less effective). The Latin root of adulterant means "to falsify or alter."

Definitions of adulterant
  1. noun
    any substance that lessens the purity or effectiveness of a substance
    “it is necessary to remove the adulterants before use”
    synonyms: adulterator
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    type of:
    a particular kind or species of matter with uniform properties
  2. adjective
    making impure or corrupt by adding extraneous materials
    synonyms: adulterating
    extraneous, foreign
    not belonging to that in which it is contained; introduced from an outside source
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    freeing from noxious matter
    ablutionary, cleansing
    cleansing the body by washing; especially ritual washing of e.g. hands
    freeing from error or corruption
    detergent, detersive
    having cleansing power
    show more antonyms...
Word Family

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