im·​pu·​ri·​ty | \ (ˌ)im-ˈpyu̇r-ə-tē How to pronounce impurity (audio) \
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

These precious stones often have curiously salty impurities that scientists have long struggled to explain. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, "Earth's seafloor may be destined to become diamonds," 30 May 2019 As with most oil and balm cleansers, you're meant to apply them directly to dry skin, letting the formula emulsify to a milk to gently lift impurities. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "Drunk Elephant Quietly Launched Its First-Ever Cleansing Balm, and It's Incredible," 29 Mar. 2019 Imperfections in these liquids’ orderly arrangement behave much like impurities in ordinary liquids. Quanta Magazine, "Inside the Knotty World of ‘Anyon’ Particles," 28 Feb. 2017 Transmission through glass strands was seen as another possibility, but impurities in glass available at the time meant light signals could travel only a few yards. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Chinese Refugee Developed Fiber-Optic Technology That Made the Internet Possible," 28 Sep. 2018 The key is to then find a way to whisk off the oil, with your own sebum and impurities in tow. Sable Yong, Teen Vogue, "Coconut Oil for Acne? Learn How It Can Help Clear Your Skin," 10 Sep. 2018 At Ling Skincare in New York City, absorbing impurities is the first order of business of their new Charcoal Facial ($260 for 90 minutes). Fiorella Valdesolo, Town & Country, "Dark Star," 29 May 2014 Look for options with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration, which excel at stripping out even the tiniest impurities from the air, including everything from smog to pollen. Lauren Hubbard, ELLE Decor, "A Beginner's Guide to Making Your Home More Sustainable," 1 Apr. 2019 The agency said the chemical impurities occur in trace amounts in water and some foods. Thomas M. Burton, WSJ, "FDA Says Up to Two Million People Exposed to Likely Carcinogens in Blood-Pressure Drugs," 25 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for impurity

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for impurity

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

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More Definitions for impurity



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 How to pronounce impurity (audio) \
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 How to pronounce impurity (audio) \
plural impurities

Medical Definition of impurity

: something that is impure or makes something else impure

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More from Merriam-Webster on impurity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with impurity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impurity

Spanish Central: Translation of impurity

Nglish: Translation of impurity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impurity for Arabic Speakers

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).


to take the place or position of

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