\ˈpyu̇r \
purer; purest

Definition of pure 

1a(1) : unmixed with any other matter pure gold

(2) : free from dust, dirt, or taint pure spring water

(3) : spotless, stainless

b : free from harshness or roughness and being in tune used of a musical tone

c of a vowel : characterized by no appreciable alteration of articulation during utterance

2a : being thus and no other : sheer, unmitigated pure folly

b(1) : abstract, theoretical pure research

(2) : a priori pure mechanics

c : not directed toward exposition of reality or solution of practical problems pure literature

d : being nonobjective and to be appraised on formal and technical qualities only pure form

3a(1) : free from what vitiates, weakens, or pollutes

(2) : containing nothing that does not properly belong

b : free from moral fault or guilt

c : marked by chastity : continent

d(1) : of pure blood and unmixed ancestry

(2) : homozygous in and breeding true for one or more characters

e : ritually clean

4 : having exactly the talents or skills needed for a particular role a pure shooter in basketball

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Other Words from pure

pureness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for pure

chaste, pure, modest, decent mean free from all taint of what is lewd or salacious. chaste primarily implies a refraining from acts or even thoughts or desires that are not virginal or not sanctioned by marriage vows. they maintained chaste relations pure differs from chaste in implying innocence and absence of temptation rather than control of one's impulses and actions. the pure of heart modest and decent apply especially to deportment and dress as outward signs of inward chastity or purity. preferred more modest swimsuits decent people didn't go to such movies

Examples of pure in a Sentence

The company bottles only the purest water. the pure notes of the flute

Recent Examples on the Web

Some of them are even plug-in hybrids, and for people who don’t want to buy gas at all, there are pure electrics available. G. Chambers Williams Iii, Houston Chronicle, "COMPACT," 13 July 2018 Led by Sean Hannity at 9 p.m., Fox News is as close to pure propaganda during prime time as any major TV outlet has ever been. David Zurawik, baltimoresun.com, "Trump's TV messaging machine not looking quite so mighty these days," 12 July 2018 The contest has become a pure power play, decoupled from the reality of irregular migration. The Economist, "How policy debates in Europe become untethered from reality," 12 July 2018 Drinking beer with your friends outside on a pure Michigan summer evening will soon be possible at Pingree Gardens, Eastern Market's first — and, organizers say, Detroit's largest — outdoor biergarten. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "Outdoor biergarten to open at Detroit's Eastern Market this weekend," 12 July 2018 Hundreds of millions have transitioned from fully authoritarian monarchies (throughout Europe, Central Asia and parts of East Asia) and pure dictatorships (Latin America, the Balkans, the Levant and parts of Africa). James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 2018 Cox's style is a step beyond camp into a comedy of pure disgust; much of the film is churlishly unpleasant, but there's a core of genuine anger that gives the project an emotional validation lacking in the flabby American comedies of the early 80s. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Film / Music / Old Movies to Watch Now / On Video / Small Screen Urgh! A Music War and other punk and postpunk new wave cinema," 10 July 2018 When the crucibles cooled, ingots of pure steel lay inside. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 Cool ice cream dripping down the side of a cone is one of summer’s purest pleasures. Anna Thomas Bates, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Homemade strawberry shortcake ice cream a magical summer treat," 13 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for pure

Middle English pur, from Anglo-French, from Latin purus; akin to Old High German fowen to sift, Sanskrit punāti he cleanses, Middle Irish úr fresh, new

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Statistics for pure

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for pure

The first known use of pure was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for pure



English Language Learners Definition of pure

: not mixed with anything else

: clean and not harmful in any way

: having a smooth and clear sound that is not mixed with any other sounds


\ˈpyu̇r \
purer; purest

Kids Definition of pure

1 : not mixed with anything else : free from everything that might injure or lower the quality pure water pure silk

2 : free from sin : innocent, chaste

3 : nothing other than : total pure nonsense

Other Words from pure

purely adverb


\ˈpyu̇(ə)r \
purer; purest

Medical Definition of pure 

1 : unmixed with any other matter pure gold

2 : free from dust, dirt, or taint pure food

3a : of unmixed ancestry : purebred

b : homozygous in and breeding true for one or more characters

Other Words from pure

pureness noun

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Legal Definition of pure 

1a : unmixed with any other matter

b : free from dirt or taint

2 : being thus and nothing other a pure no-fault compensation system

Other Words from pure

purely adverb
pureness noun

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