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pollute

Pollute is a verb that means to make something dirty or impure. You can pollute a river by pouring waste into it, or you can pollute your body by eating way too much candy.

Pollute comes from the Latin word pollut-, meaning “soiled.” When you pollute something, it's soiled or contaminated, often by something poisonous. You might have heard the word pollutionpollution is the stuff that pollutes the environment. The word pollute can be used more figuratively to describe something that corrupts or degrades. For example, reading articles about celebrity weddings can pollute your mind.

Definitions of pollute
  1. verb
    make impure
    “The industrial wastes polluted the lake”
    synonyms: contaminate, foul
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    types:
    infect, taint
    contaminate with a disease or microorganism
    superinfect
    infect (an infected cell) further or infect a cell already containing similar organisms
    smut
    affect with smut or mildew, as of a crop such as corn
    type of:
    begrime, bemire, colly, dirty, grime, soil
    make soiled, filthy, or dirty
  2. verb
    contaminate (the environment) with waste or harmful substances
    see moresee less
    type of:
    contaminate, foul
    make impure
  3. verb
    place under suspicion or cast doubt upon
    synonyms: cloud, corrupt, defile, sully, taint, tarnish
    see moresee less
    type of:
    deflower, impair, mar, spoil, vitiate
    make imperfect
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