Definition: Pollution

From New World Encyclopedia
(Redirected from Pollution)


From Middle English pollucion, from Anglo-Norman pollutiun, Middle French pollution, pollucion, and their source, post-classical Latin pollūtiō (defilement, desecration) (fourth century), from the participial stem of polluō (to soil, defile, contaminate), from por- (before) + -luō (to smear), related to lutum (mud) and luēs (filth). Compare Ancient Greek λῦμα or lûma (filth, dirt, disgrace) and λῦμαξ or lûmax (rubbish, refuse), Old Irish loth (mud, dirt), Lithuanian lutynas (pool, puddle).


pollution (countable and uncountable, plural pollutions)

  1. Physical contamination, now especially the contamination of the environment by harmful substances, or by disruptive levels of noise, light etc.
    Pollution levels are almost always higher in cities rather than the countryside, what with the cars, industry and so on.
  2. Something that pollutes; a pollutant.
  3. Moral or spiritual corruption; impurity, degradation, defilement.

Derived terms

Related terms

  • pollute
  • polluter


New World Encyclopedia writers and editors copied and adjusted this Wiktionary entry in accordance with NWE standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit for this article is due to both New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions at Wiktionary is accessible to researchers here: