Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


adjective, \ˈpyu̇r\

Simple Definition of pure

  • : not mixed with anything else

  • : clean and not harmful in any way

  • : having a smooth and clear sound that is not mixed with any other sounds

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of pure


  1. 1 a (1) :  unmixed with any other matter <pure gold> (2) :  free from dust, dirt, or taint <pure springwater> (3) :  spotless, stainless b :  free from harshness or roughness and being in tune —used of a musical tone c of a vowel :  characterized by no appreciable alteration of articulation during utterance

  2. 2 a :  being thus and no other :  sheer, unmitigated <pure folly> b (1) :  abstract, theoretical <pure research> (2) :  a priori <pure mechanics> c :  not directed toward exposition of reality or solution of practical problems <pure literature> d :  being nonobjective and to be appraised on formal and technical qualities only <pure form>

  3. 3 a (1) :  free from what vitiates, weakens, or pollutes (2) :  containing nothing that does not properly belong b :  free from moral fault or guilt c :  marked by chastity :  continent d (1) :  of pure blood and unmixed ancestry (2) :  homozygous in and breeding true for one or more characters e :  ritually clean

  4. 4 :  having exactly the talents or skills needed for a particular role <a pure shooter in basketball>

pureness noun

Examples of pure in a sentence

  1. The company bottles only the purest water.

  2. the pure notes of the flute

Origin of pure

Middle English pur, from Anglo-French, from Latin purus; akin to Old High German fowen to sift, Sanskrit punāti he cleanses, Middle Irish úr fresh, new

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of pure

chaste, pure, modest, decent mean free from all taint of what is lewd or salacious. chaste primarily implies a refraining from acts or even thoughts or desires that are not virginal or not sanctioned by marriage vows <they maintained chaste relations>. pure differs from chaste in implying innocence and absence of temptation rather than control of one's impulses and actions <the pure of heart>. modest and decent apply especially to deportment and dress as outward signs of inward chastity or purity <preferred more modest swimsuits> <decent people didn't go to such movies>.

PURE Defined for Kids


adjective \ˈpyu̇r\

Definition of pure for Students


  1. 1 :  not mixed with anything else :  free from everything that might injure or lower the quality <pure water> <pure silk>

  2. 2 :  free from sin :  innocent, chaste

  3. 3 :  nothing other than :  total <pure nonsense>

purely adverb

Medical Dictionary


adjective \ˈpyu̇(ə)r\

Medical Definition of pure

purer; purest

  1. 1:  unmixed with any other matter <pure gold>

  2. 2:  free from dust, dirt, or taint <pure food>

  3. 3a:  of unmixed ancestry :  purebredb:  homozygous in and breeding true for one or more characters

pureness noun

Law Dictionary



Legal Definition of pure

  1. 1a :  unmixed with any other matter b :  free from dirt or taint

  2. 2 :  being thus and nothing other <a pure no-fault compensation system>

purely adverb
pureness noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to expose to danger or risk

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.