The word pollution came from the Latin word polluere, which means “to defile, soil or contaminate.” This word came from Latin ‘por’, meaning “before”, and luere’, meaning “to smear.” The word ‘pollute’ from the Latin form of polluere, “pollutus” was used to mean “defile” from 1380 but didn’t begin being used as ‘pollution’ in the meaning of environmental contamination until 1954.
The original meaning of pollution circa 1360 was “to discharge semen other than during sex.” Eventually this turned the meaning to desecrate and defile. The fist usage of the definition “to contaminate the environment” was not used until 1860 and became common in 1955. I would guess that we call it pollution because the environment has been defiled.
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