im·​pure | \ (ˌ)im-ˈpyu̇r How to pronounce impure (audio) \

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

As entertainment, however, the film is calculation impure and simple. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Miss Bala’ Review: Misfire in Mexico," 31 Jan. 2019 What this emporium of impure temptations is really selling is pure escapism. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ Offers a Party, and a Playlist, for the Ages," 25 July 2019 Our emotions are mixed and impure, messy, tangled, and at times contradictory, like everything else in our lives. Rafael Euba, Quartzy, "Why striving for happiness makes people miserable," 23 July 2019 Yesterday’s impure pop-music culture is infected with craven TV game-show culture (just as Slumdog Millionaire infected Indian film culture with TV’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire). Armond White, National Review, "Yesterday Is Cynical, Fake Nostalgia," 28 June 2019 The decision to close the consulate followed weeks of unrest in the southern Iraqi city triggered by residents’ anger over meager electricity supplies and impure water, which made thousands of people ill. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "U.S. to Close Consulate in Iraq, Citing Threats From Iran," 28 Sep. 2018 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

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

13 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce impure (audio) \

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 How to pronounce impure (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on impure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with impure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impure

Spanish Central: Translation of impure

Nglish: Translation of impure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impure for Arabic Speakers

Comments on impure

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


a period when something is suspended

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