Definition of purgatory
1 : an intermediate state after death for expiatory purification; specifically : a place or state of punishment wherein according to Roman Catholic doctrine the souls of those who die in God's grace may make satisfaction for past sins and so become fit for heaven
2 : a place or state of temporary suffering or misery
Examples of purgatory in a sentence
the purgatory of drug abuse
The marathons were jokingly referred to as one-day purgatories.
Did You Know?
Purgatory is the place where the soul is cleansed of all impurities, as Dante described in his great poem The Divine Comedy. Today purgatory can refer to any place or situation in which suffering and misery are felt to be sharp but temporary. Waiting to hear the results of a test, or whether you got a good job, can be a purgatory. And an endless after-dinner speech can make an entire roomful of people feel as if they're in purgatory.
Origin and Etymology of purgatory
Middle English, from Anglo-French or Medieval Latin; Anglo-French purgatorie, from Medieval Latin purgatorium, from Late Latin, neuter of purgatorius purging, from Latin purgare
First Known Use: 13th century
PURGATORY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of purgatory for English Language Learners
Purgatory : a state after death according to Roman Catholic belief in which the souls of people who die are made pure through suffering before going to heaven
: a place or state of suffering
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