Definition of decontaminate in English:



  • Neutralize or remove dangerous substances, radioactivity, or germs from (an area, object, or person)

    ‘they tried to decontaminate nearby villages’
    • ‘During the Clinton years, about 358 toxic sites were decontaminated each year.’
    • ‘The emergency services sealed off the area and decontaminated the affected staff.’
    • ‘Three patients have caught a superbug in Kingston Hospital's intensive care unit, forcing staff to keep new patients in isolation while the area was fully decontaminated.’
    • ‘The plants were growing well, and no one was allowed in the lab without wearing a full body clean suit and being decontaminated by special showers.’
    • ‘About 94 people were evacuated from the mail distribution centre, four of whom were decontaminated and placed in hospital for observation.’
    • ‘The smaller objects are taken to a row of tents where they are decontaminated and picked over by detectives wearing protective suits and respirators.’
    • ‘Staff at Broomfield Hospital's accident and emergency department are being given special training on how to decontaminate victims of any biological, chemical, radioactive or nuclear incident.’
    • ‘Contractors are currently working to decontaminate the site, which has chromium and cadmium residues from the former foundry.’
    • ‘York-based Persimmon Homes wants to build 148 flats and a three-storey office block on the former gasworks site in Heworth Green, and is willing to foot the bill to decontaminate the site.’
    • ‘The area has not been decontaminated at all, and no environmental studies have measured the quantity of chemicals remaining in the soil and water.’
    • ‘There's not much that wildlife health officials can do to prevent this, but they could try to decontaminate high-risk areas or dissuade wild birds from visiting them - for example, by draining lakes.’
    • ‘If contamination is suspected, decontaminate the patient and environment following the facility's decontamination policies and procedures.’
    • ‘Fire engines, ambulances, police and emergency services officers in full body biological protection suits with breathing apparatus are at the Embassy decontaminating the site.’
    • ‘Clothing and bedding should also be decontaminated.’
    • ‘Health workers should remove casualties' clothes and decontaminate their skin then give them clean clothing, such as paper suits, to wear.’
    • ‘The British government donated #20 million to decontaminate the sites, a process finally declared complete last week.’
    • ‘Firefighters exposed to smoke and debris from the burning block had to be decontaminated, with their firefighting clothes sealed and sent away to a specialist firm for deep cleaning.’
    • ‘This equipment will be vital for decontaminating people who have come into contact with toxic or chemical materials.’
    • ‘The box and the depot area were decontaminated and the powder removed for testing.’
    • ‘Numerous hazardous sites around New Zealand have to be decontaminated at considerable expense, but the people who have gained from producing those toxins have incurred no cost.’
    sanitize, sterilize, disinfect, clean, cleanse, purify
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