im·​pure | \(ˌ)im-ˈpyu̇r \

Definition of impure 

: not pure: such as

a : lewd, unchaste

b : containing something unclean : foul impure water

c : ritually unclean

d : mixed or impregnated with an extraneous and usually unwanted substance an impure chemical

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Other Words from impure

impurely adverb
impureness noun

Examples of impure in a Sentence

be careful, because impure motor oil can damage your car's engine Victorian notions of what qualified as impure art now strike us as laughable.

Recent Examples on the Web

The cure for impure thoughts, the priests told us, was to go out and play basketball. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "The Sexual Revolution and the Church," 24 Oct. 2018 Some religious figures consider menstruating women to be impure. Ashok Sharma, The Seattle Times, "Indian temple set to allow entry to females who menstruate," 17 Oct. 2018 Tiffanie further alleged that the brothers were practicing witchcraft, and that the two had impure thoughts about the pastor. Chris Harris,, "4 Things You'll Learn About a Killer Church Cult from Monday's Episode of PMI: Cults," 17 June 2018 But if anybody else is dealing with these players, their motives are impure. Gary Bedore, kansascity, "Q&A with Jay Bilas on FBI's college basketball case: 'The problem is the NCAA’s rules' | The Kansas City Star," 18 Apr. 2018 Members of the higher caste sometimes consider Dalits impure, and in certain places, they still aren't allowed to enter the homes or temples of the upper-caste community or share utensils with them. Huizhong Wu, CNN, "India's Supreme Court to hear appeal on ruling that sparked Dalit protests," 3 Apr. 2018 The people making meth were mostly producing small, impure quantities using materials that could be purchased at a Walmart. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "The silent fallout of the opioid epidemic? Meth.," 30 Mar. 2018 Fortunately, the sarin used was impure, otherwise the casualty list would have been much longer. Simon Cotton, Scientific American, "Nerve Agents: What Are They and How Do They Work?," 9 Mar. 2018 In many regions in India, menstruation is thought to be dirty and impure. Puja Changoiwala, SELF, "Why India's Widespread Period Shaming Must End," 25 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of impure

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for impure

Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin impurus, from in- + purus pure

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Statistics for impure

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impure

The first known use of impure was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for impure



English Language Learners Definition of impure

: mixed with something else that is usually not as good

: sexual in a way that is considered morally wrong


im·​pure | \im-ˈpyu̇r \

Kids Definition of impure

1 : not pure : unclean, dirty impure water

2 : mixed with something else that is usually not as good impure gold


im·​pure | \(ˈ)im-ˈpyu̇(ə)r \

Medical Definition of impure 

: not pure: as

a : containing something unclean impure water

b : mixed or impregnated with an extraneous and usually unwanted substance : adulterated an impure chemical

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