Meaning of POLLUTION in English


pol ‧ lu ‧ tion W2 /pəˈluːʃ ə n/ BrE AmE noun [uncountable]

1 . the process of making air, water, soil etc dangerously dirty and not suitable for people to use, or the state of being dangerously dirty:

California’s tough anti-pollution laws

air/water/soil pollution

air pollution from traffic fumes

pollution prevention/standards/control

The costs of pollution control must be considered.

2 . substances that make air, water, soil etc dangerously dirty:

a plan to reduce pollution

industrial/chemical etc pollution

the effects of industrial pollution on the population

The chemicals have been identified as a source of pollution.

⇨ ↑ noise pollution

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1 & 2)

■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + pollution

▪ bad/serious/severe

The mines have caused serious pollution of the river system.


The pollution was so bad that most of the fish died.

▪ air pollution

Air pollution can cause breathing problems for some people.

▪ atmospheric pollution formal (=air pollution)

The oil wells continued to burn, causing atmospheric pollution on a massive scale.

▪ water/river pollution

The National Rivers Authority tests levels of water pollution.

▪ marine pollution formal (=pollution of the sea)

Oil spills are a major cause of marine pollution.

▪ environmental pollution

Most environmental pollution originates in the developed countries.

▪ industrial pollution (=from factories)

A study has linked ill health in the area with industrial pollution.

▪ chemical pollution

Chemical pollution threatens the survival of these animals.

■ verbs

▪ reduce/cut pollution

New measures are needed to reduce pollution from cars.

▪ control pollution

The water company is failing to control pollution.

▪ tackle/combat pollution (=try to deal with it)

Governments must tackle pollution now.

▪ prevent pollution

Efforts are being made to prevent further pollution.

▪ monitor pollution (=measure it)

It is possible to monitor pollution from incinerator chimneys.

■ pollution + NOUN

▪ pollution levels

The aim is to reduce pollution levels to those of the 1930s.

▪ a pollution problem

Environmentalists fear that the new factories will lead to severe pollution problems.

▪ pollution control

Effective pollution control was not being undertaken.

■ phrases

▪ a source/cause of pollution

The factory was a clear source of pollution.


Fumes from cars are a major cause of air pollution.

• • •


Pollution is an uncountable noun and has no plural form. Use a singular verb after it:

The pollution is worse during winter.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.