pollute and contaminate

What's the difference between pollute and contaminate?

When should we use pollute and when should we use contaminate?

Many thanks

2 個解答

  • 7 年前


    1.to make air, water, or land etc dirty by putting chemicals or waste products into it, so that it is unsafe for use by people or animals, especially poisonous chemicals or sewage. (污染, 弄臟)

    That coal mine was polluting both the air and the groundwater.

    2.(Figurative) to spoil something that is used to be good (敗壞, 使墮落)

    Violence on television is polluting the minds of our children.

    Some pop singers are spiritually polluted by money and fame.

    Pollute is used with these nouns as the object: air, atmosphere, environment, water, river,

    Noise pollution = loud or unpleasant noise that is caused by automobiles, airplanes, etc., and that is harmful or annoying to the people who can hear it


    1. to make something dangerous, dirty, or impure by contacting something harmful or undesirable to it. For example, unwanted or extraneous materials like chemicals, bacteria inflection or radiation. (污染, 弄臟, 傳染 )

    Contaminate is used with these nouns as the object: water, food, blood, thing (container)

    Lead pipes can contaminate drinking water.

    The food was contaminated during the production process.

    Be careful not to allow bacteria to contaminate the wound.

    Some patients are seeking compensation for being given contaminated blood.

    In the above sentences,contaminate cannot be replaced by pollute.

    2 (Figurative) to influence something in a way that has a bad effect (損害,毒害,使腐敗)

    The election process has been contaminated by corruption.

    Children are becoming contaminated by the prevailing cynicism of the age.

    Pollution is something done by human being because of negligence, usually over a period of time.

    Contamination is largely caused by accident, human faults (careless, sloppy, ignorant .. etc) Very small amounts of undesirable materials can contaminate the whole.

    Pollute and contaminate are sometimes used interchangeably.

    The water was contaminated (or polluted) by chemicals.

    Pollute 主要用在 空氣,水,泥土 (自然環境), 噪音

    Contaminate 除了用以上,(噪音除外),還可用在食物, 血, 容器

    資料來源: Merriam-Webster Dictionary; Oxford Dictionary of Collocations
  • 7 年前


    Pollute 是一個比 contaminate 更 general 的字,兩者都能表達到「環境污染」的意思,但除此之外,pollute 也能表達「敗壞風氣」的意思,這是 contaminate 所沒有的意思。

    另外,說到「環境污染」, 空氣污染通常用 pollute;水污染,光污染,噪音污染兩者均常見;而細菌污染,輻射污染則通常用 contaminate。


    資料來源: 自己