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 On top of the natural ingredients, Air is actually able to minimize photosynthesis and transform carbon dioxide (captured from the air) into impurity-free alcohols. Tonne Goodman, Vogue, "Then and Now With Tonne Goodman—Sustainable Holiday Dressing Worth Celebrating," 23 Dec. 2020 The laws can be traced back to the book of Leviticus, where God commands the Israelites on a number of sources of impurity. Josefin Dolsten,, "Some queer Jews are finding meaning in the laws of family purity, traditionally observed by married Orthodox couples," 21 Oct. 2020 But the Nitrosamine impurity may increase the risk of cancer if one's daily exposure exceeds that limit. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, "'Don't panic.' Anti-diabetes medication recalled, may contain high levels of cancer-causing compound," 9 Oct. 2020 Jackson, for his part, is not a critic who wants to tear everything down at the first whiff of impurity. Jay Caspian Kang, The New York Review of Books, "Ball Don’t Lie," 27 Aug. 2020 Throughout the ages, left-handedness has been associated with weakness, impurity or evil. Michael Pearson, CNN, "Lefties get their day today," 13 Aug. 2020 The Food and Drug Administration discovered the chemical impurity N-Nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, in some extended-release versions of metformin, the agency said in a statement late Thursday. Anna Edney,, "Five Drugmakers Are Asked to Recall Tainted Diabetes Drug," 30 May 2020 Cocokind Organic Facial Cleansing Oil The Cocokind Facial Cleansing Oil includes coconut, avocado, tea tree and lavender oils that remove dirt and impurities from your face. NBC News, "Last minute Mother's Day gifts that will arrive on time," 5 May 2020 Alginic acid helps to capture oil, impurities, blackheads, residue from makeup, and dead skin cells within the pores of the skin to cleanse, purify, and leave you with a glowing complexion. Susan Brickell,, "This Pore Mousse That Literally Sucks Dirt Out of Your Skin Sold Out in 4 Hours—and Now It's Back," 1 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for impurity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for impurity

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impurity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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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