from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To make impure or unclean by contact or mixture.
  • transitive verb To expose to or permeate with radioactivity.
  • transitive verb Linguistics To influence the semantic properties or phonological form of (a word or phrase); blend with.
  • noun One that contaminates; a contaminant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Contaminated; polluted; defiled; tainted; corrupt.
  • To render impure by mixture or contact; defile; pollute; sully; tarnish; taint; corrupt: usually in a figurative sense.
  • Synonyms To infect, poison, corrupt. See taint.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Contaminated; defiled; polluted; tainted.
  • transitive verb To soil, stain, or corrupt by contact; to tarnish; to sully; to taint; to pollute; to defile.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To introduce impurities or foreign matter; to soil or defile.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb make impure
  • verb make radioactive by adding radioactive material


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English contaminaten, from Latin contāmināre, contāmināt-; see tag- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin contaminare ("to tough together, blend, mingle, corrupt, defile"), from contamen ("contact, defilement, contagion"), related to tangere.


  • As the cook cut the melons s/he transferred the contaminate from the outside of the fruit to the inside.

    Treating Veggies and Fruit

  • David Cameron's favourite thinktank, Policy Exchange, published a book-length condemnation which claims that The Spirit Level's authors had produced a shabby, shallow work which threatened to "contaminate" our presumably honest political debate, as if it were an oil slick heading towards a pristine coast.

    The book that has the Tories running scared

  • To me it recalls the thinking that a drop of African blood in one's heritage was enough to "contaminate" one's whiteness.

    La Gloria Cubana

  • The authorities had been allowed to "contaminate" the results,

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • While local television broadcasts are permitted, cinemas are banned, and Khan rails against Western videos that "contaminate" Islamic and Afghan cultural values.

    Reining In The Warlords

  • That human explorers will "contaminate" Mars is inevitable -- humans contain oceans of bacteria, and a human presence on Mars is sure to leave some behind.

    Boing Boing: May 12, 2002 - May 18, 2002 Archives

  • The guards scrambled to pick up all the leaflets so our message wouldn't "contaminate" the criminals confined in the prison.

    On Yankee Station

  • The 18,000 Druse and 2,000 Alawites on the Golan would be reunited with their co-religionists, but decades of life under the Zionists will have created social, economic and, yes, political expectations that could "contaminate" the larger Syrian polity.

    Jihad Monitor

  • This of course raises a question: if shoes are so ritually unclean, just how are these people holding these shoes so as not to 'contaminate' themselves?

    Soccer Dad

  • If I were to perform this work and have my LLC send them the bill, would these earnings "contaminate" my passive income thereby screwing up my tax situation?

    BiggerPockets Forums


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • conTAmINaTe

    April 22, 2008