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.
impure or debased; cheapened in quality or purity.
(def 1).
Contemporary Examples

Deeming it to be “adulterated and misbranded,” they dyed the milk blue.
Wisconsin Farmer to Stand Trial for Selling Raw Milk Sarah Begley May 11, 2013

Historical Examples

Coffee, as generally sold in the metropolis and in all large towns, is adulterated even more than tea.
Curiosities of Civilization Andrew Wynter

Nature hates all false coloring and is ever best where she is least adulterated with art.
The Praise of Folly Desiderius Erasmus

All this is an immense advance upon the time when there were no laws against the sale of unsound or adulterated food.
The Sanitary Evolution of London Henry Lorenzo Jephson

Nothing is more prejudicial to health than adulterated liquors, or liquors that are debased by any corrupting vegetable substance.
The Cook and Housekeeper’s Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, Mary Eaton

Butter should melt at 94° F.; if it does not, you may be sure that it is adulterated with suet or other cheap fat.
General Science Bertha M. Clark

This is usually white lead, but it is often adulterated with zinc oxide; 2.
Handwork in Wood William Noyes

Mineral oils that have been adulterated, when heated up, will partially decompose, forming acid.
Steam Turbines Hubert E. Collins

adulterated with whisky, we believe it costs about eightpence a time.
Punch or the London Charivari, October 20, 1920 Various

When there is reason to suspect that bread is adulterated with alum, it may be detected thus.
The Cook and Housekeeper’s Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, Mary Eaton

verb (əˈdʌltəˌreɪt)
(transitive) to debase by adding inferior material: to adulterate milk with water
adjective (əˈdʌltərɪt; -ˌreɪt)
adulterated; debased or impure
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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