\ 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

If that can happen to someone so pure, such a true believer, then what’s in store for my child? Jennifer Vineyard, New York Times, "‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Yvonne Strahovski on the Harrowing Finale and Serena’s Murky Future," 11 July 2018 Getty Images Getty Images Getty Images The dress featured a softly pleated skirt and is made from pure Italian silk with a delicate floral print inspired by chinoiserie. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Pregnant Pippa Middleton Stole the Show at the Royal Wedding," 19 May 2018 For a team that’s experienced gut-wrenching pain over the past two months, Saturday afternoon was pure joy and exhilaration for Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Wells Dusenbury, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Stoneman Douglas players, Aaron Feis' family announce Dolphins draft picks," 29 Apr. 2018 Nobody would mistake Reddit for a rainbowland of pure love. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "The Transformative Power of Reddit's Alien Mascot," 6 July 2018 As noted by this study, other factors influence its development – including pure chance. Josh Magness, miamiherald, "Your child may have a higher risk of cancer if you keep your house too clean, study says | Miami Herald," 22 May 2018 By David Christian Little, Brown, 357 pages, $30 As far as science is concerned, the fact that our universe and our planet suit us very well is pure chance. David Wootton, WSJ, "‘Origin Story’ Review: The View From Above," 18 May 2018 But one certainty remains: Sports must remain pure in their purpose as a contest of what athletes give in a game, not what betting can take from them. The Christian Science Monitor, "Mixing sports and sports gambling is no game," 14 May 2018 The Royals’ logo is based on Joffrey Baratheon, whose bloodlines aren’t, um, the purest. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Graphic artist reimagines MLB logos with a ‘Game of Thrones’ look," 13 July 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

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on pure

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to make amends

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