pur·​ga·​to·​ri·​al ˌpər-gə-ˈtȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce purgatorial (audio)
: of, relating to, or suggestive of purgatory
: cleansing of sin : expiatory

Examples of purgatorial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lopatin’s best songs build a space—uncanny, warped, almost purgatorial—in which various eras and ideas, both dead and alive, can speak to one another. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2023 Consequently, each of these directors is quick to credit their teams and the hundreds — if not thousands — of hands that bring their fairytale characters, giant red pandas, purgatorial demons and puppets who wish to be real, to life for audiences of all ages. Paul Plunkett, Variety, 18 Jan. 2023 Their other, younger star, Anthony Davis, was supposed to take over as the team’s best player, allowing LeBron, who recently turned thirty-eight, to rest a bit, but Davis is stuck in a purgatorial loop of injury, convalescence, return, and reinjury. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 2 Feb. 2023 Fogerty laid the whole journey out for Variety, from purgatorial beginning and middle to near-fairy-tale ending, so that the tale can finally been seen in its full arc… and serve as a cautionary tale for any musicians too eager to sign on a dotted line. Chris Willman, Variety, 28 Feb. 2023 With the orange neon Limbo Motel sign standing in stark relief against the desert nights, the setting is a desolate purgatorial place that could be the gates of Hell, stripped not only of the gemstones that gave birth to the settlement, but also of hope. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Feb. 2023 In those last few minutes, as Argentina ticked down the clock and the songs echoed around the Lusail, Argentina’s substitutes stood on the sideline, that purgatorial zone between the stands and the field, with their arms slung around each other’s shoulders, joining in with the chorus. Rory Smith, New York Times, 13 Dec. 2022 Banshees resembles the purgatorial tribalism and ethnic discontent that Spike Lee gets away with. Armond White, National Review, 23 Dec. 2022 Mendes, for all the tony respectability of his work (give or take a multiplex outing for James Bond), relishes the misery of purgatorial lives. A.a. Dowd, Chron, 8 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'purgatorial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of purgatorial was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near purgatorial

Cite this Entry

“Purgatorial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purgatorial. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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