verb (used with object), a·dul·ter·at·ed, a·dul·ter·at·ing.

  1. to debase or make impure by adding inferior materials or elements; use cheaper, inferior, or less desirable goods in the production of (any professedly genuine article): to adulterate food.


  1. impure or debased; cheapened in quality or purity.
  2. adulterous.

verb (əˈdʌltəˌreɪt)

  1. (tr) to debase by adding inferior materialto adulterate milk with water

adjective (əˈdʌltərɪt, -ˌreɪt)

  1. adulterated; debased or impure
  2. a less common word for adulterous

1530s, back-formation from adulteration, or else from Latin adulteratus, past participle of adulterare “to falsify, corrupt,” also “to commit adultery.” Earlier verb was adulter (late 14c.). Related: Adulterated; adulterating.

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