[ kuh n-tam-uh-ney-shuh n ]
/ kənˌtæm əˈneɪ ʃən /


the act of contaminating, or of making something impure or unsuitable by contact with something unclean, bad, etc.
the act of contaminating, or of rendering something harmful or unusable by the addition of radioactive material: the contamination of food following a nuclear attack.
the state of being contaminated: The manufacturer recalled the product because of possible salmonella contamination.
Rare. something that contaminates a place or substance, as by making it impure, unsuitable, harmful, or unusable; a contaminant.
  1. an alternation in a linguistic form due to the influence of a related form, as the replacement in English of earlier femelle with female through the influence of male.
  2. the process of forming blends.Compare blend(def 9).

Origin of contamination

1375–1425; late Middle English contaminacioun < Late Latin contāminātiōn- (stem of contāminātiō), equivalent to contāmināt(us) (see contaminate) + -iōn- -ion

OTHER WORDS FROM contamination

non·con·tam·i·na·tion, noun re·con·tam·i·na·tion, noun self-con·tam·i·na·tion, noun

Example sentences from the Web for contamination

British Dictionary definitions for contamination

/ (kənˌtæmɪˈneɪʃən) /


the act or process of contaminating or the state of being contaminated
something that contaminates
linguistics the process by which one word or phrase is altered because of mistaken associations with another word or phrase; for example, the substitution of irregardless for regardless by association with such words as irrespective

Medical definitions for contamination

[ kən-tăm′ə-nāshən ]


The act or process of rendering something harmful or unsuitable.
The presence of extraneous, especially infectious, material that renders a substance or preparation impure or harmful.