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
d : ritually unclean

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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 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, "India has an unlikely new type of period health educators: men," 27 May 2020 Unbeknownst to the cleaner, ash combined with the animal grease to create a simple, impure soap. Cody Cassidy, Time, "Who Discovered Soap? What to Know About the Origins of the Life-Saving Substance," 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, "Artificial Atoms Could Usher In the Quantum Revolution," 11 Feb. 2020 Judaism considers pigs impure and no one disputes that the sculpture is deliberately offensive. Washington Post, "German court may reject appeal to remove anti-Semitic relic," 21 Jan. 2020 Even on a first date, there’s suspicion that a foreigner could have impure intentions. Kalle Oskari Mattila, Washington Post, "Dating as a foreigner in America: Everyone thinks I’m just looking for a green card," 25 Nov. 2019 Why bother with jewelry when there was the thing itself: impure and unsimple., "Roy Cohn (pictured with a young Donald Trump in an undated photo) is the subject of the documentary “Where's My Roy Cohn?”," 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, "Red-State Death, Blue-State Health?," 5 Dec. 2019 When a destination is deemed dead might be the best time to go there, as the most accurate reflection of our impure world. Ben Huberman, Longreads, "We’re All Tourists Now, So Let’s Stop with the Endless, Tedious Quests for Authenticity," 24 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for impure

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Impure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for impure


How to pronounce impure (audio)

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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