- 1. The presence of an infectious agent on a body surface; also on or in clothes, bedding, toys, surgical instruments or dressings, or other inanimate articles or substances including water, milk, and food or that infectious agent itself. 2. In epidemiology, the situation that exists when a population being studied for one condition or factor also possesses other conditions or factors that modify results of the study. 3. Freudian term for a fusion and condensation of meanings of words, percepts, or motivations for behavior. 4. The presence of foreign material that adulterates or renders impure a material whose composition is degraded. [L. contamino, pp. -atus, to stain, defile]
* * *con·tam·i·na·tion kən-.tam-ə-'nā-shən n1) a process of contaminating: a state of being contaminated2) something that contaminates
* * *con·tam·i·na·tion (kən-tam″ĭ-naґshən) [L. contaminatio, from con together + tangere to touch] 1. the presence of any substance or organism that makes a preparation impure. 2. the soiling or pollution by inferior material, as by the introduction of organisms into a wound, or sewage into a stream. 3. the deposition of radioactive material where it is not desired, particularly where its presence may be harmful or constitute a radiation hazard.
Medical dictionary. 2011.