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

Definition of impure

: not pure: such as
a : containing something unclean : foul impure water
b : mixed or impregnated with an extraneous and usually unwanted substance an impure chemical
c : lewd, unchaste
d : ritually unclean

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 In the generals’ worldview, women are often considered weak and impure. New York Times, 4 Mar. 2021 Across the country, women in many homes are not allowed to cook or touch anyone during their period as they are considered impure and dirty. Reshmi Chakraborty, CNN, 27 May 2020 Unbeknownst to the cleaner, ash combined with the animal grease to create a simple, impure soap. Cody Cassidy, Time, 5 May 2020 All of this happens in a space of just 10 nanometers, and the extreme tininess and precision required means that even slightly, microscopically impure silicon materials could throw off the whole process. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 11 Feb. 2020 Judaism considers pigs impure and no one disputes that the sculpture is deliberately offensive. Washington Post, 21 Jan. 2020 Even on a first date, there’s suspicion that a foreigner could have impure intentions. Kalle Oskari Mattila, Washington Post, 25 Nov. 2019 Why bother with jewelry when there was the thing itself: impure and unsimple., 2 Oct. 2019 Unlike in poorer countries, where impure drinking water or infectious disease take a large toll, our premature deaths arise from drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and suicide. Mona Charen, National Review, 5 Dec. 2019

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

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Cite this Entry

“Impure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on impure

Nglish: Translation of impure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impure for Arabic Speakers


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