pollution

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See also: Pollution

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Anglo-Norman pollutiun, Middle French pollution, pollucion, and their source, post-classical Latin pollutio (defilement, desecration; nocturnal emission) (4th century), from the participlial stem of Latin polluere (to soil, defile, contaminate), from por- (before) + -luere (to smear), related to lutum (mud) and to lues (filth). Compare Greek [Term?] (filth, dirt, disgrace) and [Term?] (rubbish, refuse), Old Irish loth "mud, dirt", Lithuanian lutynas (pool, puddle).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

pollution (countable and uncountable, plural pollutions)

  1. (now rare) The desecration of something holy or sacred; defilement, profanation. [from 14th c.]
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, ch. XII:
      Men who attend the Altar, and should most / Endevor Peace: thir strife pollution brings / Upon the Temple it self […].
    • 1869, Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad:
      [T]he most gallant knights that ever wielded sword wasted their lives away in a struggle to seize it and hold it sacred from infidel pollution.
  2. (now archaic) The ejaculation of semen outside of sexual intercourse, especially a nocturnal emission. [from 14th c.]
    • 1839, Robley Dunglison, Medical Lexicon, Blanchard, page 492:
      When occasioned by a voluntary act it is called, simply, Pollution or Masturbation (q.v.); when excited, during sleep, by lascivious dreams, it takes the name Noctur'nal pollution, Exoneiro'sis, Oneirog'mos, Oneirog'onos, Gonorrhœ'a dormien'tium, G. oneirog'onos, G. Vera, G. libidino'sa, Proflu'vium Sem'inis, Spermatorrhœ'a, Paronir'ia salax, Night pollution.
  3. Moral or spiritual corruption; impurity, degradation, defilement. [from 15th c.]
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice:
      She condescended to wait on them at Pemberley, in spite of that pollution which its woods had received.
  4. Physical contamination, now especially the contamination of the environment by harmful substances, or by disruptive levels of noise, light etc. [from 18th c.]
    • 2006, Edwin Black, chapter 1, in Internal Combustion[1]:
      If successful, Edison and Ford—in 1914—would move society away from the [] hazards of gasoline cars: air and water pollution, noise and noxiousness, constant coughing and the undeniable rise in cancers caused by smoke exhaust particulates.
    • 2018, Matthew Taylor, The Guardian, 13 July:
      Schools across the country are moving to ban the school run amid growing concern about the devastating impact of air pollution on young people’s health.
  5. Something that pollutes; a pollutant. [from 17th c.]

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Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

pollution f (plural pollutions)

  1. pollution

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