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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about impure

Dictionary Entries near impure








Statistics for impure

Last Updated

2 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impure

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!