im·​pu·​ri·​ty | \(ˌ)im-ˈpyu̇r-ə-tē \
plural impurities

Definition of impurity 

1 : something that is impure or makes something else impure removing impurities from water

2 : the quality or state of being impure

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Examples of impurity in a Sentence

the impurity of the water The syrup is strained to remove impurities. The water is free of impurities.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The reusable, natural charcoal absorbs impurities like lead, mercury, and chlorine and leaves behind clean water without any unwanted taste. Mandy Ferreira, Sunset, "9 Things You Can Do to Stop Ocean Plastic Pollution," 22 Jan. 2018 China only will accept materials such as cardboard, plastic, glass and scrap metal with an impurity level of 0.5 percent, a degree most domestic operations so far can't achieve. Author: David Goldstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Cities scramble to rewrite rules on recycling after China restricts ‘foreign garbage’," 3 July 2018 The Chinese also vowed to accept far less cardboard and scrap metal, limiting the items to those with impurities of just 0.5 percent. David Abel,, "New China policies spark disarray in region’s recycling industry," 5 June 2018 Similar to skin exfoliation, a scalp detox involves applying cleansing ingredients — like pore-clearing charcoal or antibacterial oils — to draw out impurities and restore shine and vibrancy to hair. New York Times, "How to Detox Your Scalp for Healthier Hair," 3 July 2018 However, the color impurity induced by modulation is enough to prevent the isolator from doing its job. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Spinning glass ball rejects light from one direction," 27 June 2018 Try Eve Lom Cleanser ($50), which contains eucalyptus oil to remove dirt and other impurities, for normal to dry skin, or the Bioré Baking Soda Acne Cleansing Foam ($6) for people with oily skin. Talia Abbas, SELF, "I Had a Dermatologist Critique My Skin-Care Routine—and Here's What I'm Changing," 20 June 2018 Noble gases such as argon and neon are added to specialized glass tubes, where air and impurities are vacuumed out. Jessica Christian,, "Glass bender melds art, science to create and restore neon signs," 9 July 2018 Like many hibernating insects, overwintering mosquitoes depend on supercooling, a process by which an animal has the ability to rid its body fluids of impurities that would trigger the formation of ice. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Only female mosquitoes bother us (and other facts about the insects Alaskans love to hate)," 7 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impurity.' 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 impurity

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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English Language Learners Definition of impurity

: the quality or state of being impure

: an unwanted substance that is found in something else and that prevents it from being pure


im·​pu·​ri·​ty | \im-ˈpyu̇r-ə-tē \
plural impurities

Kids Definition of impurity

1 : the quality or state of being impure

2 : something that is or makes something else impure Impurities in the gold were detected.


im·​pu·​ri·​ty | \(ˈ)im-ˈpyu̇r-ət-ē \
plural impurities

Medical Definition of impurity 

: something that is impure or makes something else impure

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Comments on impurity

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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