[ verb kuhn-tam-uh-neyt; noun, adjective kuhn-tam-uh-nit, -neyt ]
/ verb kənˈtæm əˌneɪt; noun, adjective kənˈtæm ə nɪt, -ˌneɪt /

verb (used with object), con·tam·i·nat·ed, con·tam·i·nat·ing.

to make impure or unsuitable by contact or mixture with something unclean, bad, etc.: to contaminate a lake with sewage.
to render harmful or unusable by adding radioactive material to: to contaminate a laboratory.


something that contaminates or carries contamination; contaminant.


Obsolete. contaminated.

Origin of contaminate

1375–1425; late Middle English contaminaten < Latin contāminātus, past participle of contāmināre to defile, spoil, equivalent to con- con- + -tāminare, verbal derivative of *tāmen something touched < *tag-s-men, equivalent to tag-, variant stem of tangere to touch + -s-men resultative noun suffix; cf. examen

OTHER WORDS FROM contaminate

Example sentences from the Web for contaminated

British Dictionary definitions for contaminated


verb (kənˈtæmɪˌneɪt) (tr)

to make impure, esp by touching or mixing; pollute
to make radioactive by the addition of radioactive material

adjective (kənˈtæmɪnɪt, -ˌneɪt)

archaic contaminated

Derived forms of contaminate

contaminable, adjective contaminant, noun contaminative, adjective contaminator, noun

Word Origin for contaminate

C15: from Latin contamināre to defile; related to Latin contingere to touch

Medical definitions for contaminated

[ kən-tămə-nāt′ ]


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

Other words from contaminate

con•tam•i•nant (-nənt) n.