purge

verb
\ ˈpərj How to pronounce purge (audio) \
purged; purging

Definition of purge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to clear of guilt
b : to free from moral or ceremonial defilement
2a : to cause evacuation from purge the bowels
b(1) : to make free of something unwanted purge a manhole of gas purge yourself of fear
(2) : to free (something, such as a boiler) of sediment or relieve (something, such as a steam pipe) of trapped air by bleeding
c(1) : to rid (a nation, a political party, etc.) by a purge
(2) : to get rid of the leaders had been purged

intransitive verb

1 : to become purged
2 : to have or produce frequent evacuations
3 : to cause purgation

purge

noun

Definition of purge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that purges especially : purgative
2a : an act or instance of purging
b : the removal of elements or members regarded as undesirable and especially as treacherous or disloyal

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Other Words from purge

Verb

purger noun

Synonyms for purge

Synonyms: Verb

cleanse, purify, sanctify

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Did You Know?

In some cultures, a ritual bath or prayer is performed to purge guilt or evil spirits. The Minoans of ancient Crete may have used human sacrifice as a way of purging the entire community, which is fine for the community but rough on the victims. In many cultures, people periodically purge themselves physically—that is, clean out their digestive tracts—by taking strong laxatives; this used to be a popular springtime ritual, and herbal purgatives were readily available.

Examples of purge in a Sentence

Verb

High-ranking officials were purged from the company following the merger. a day on which the faithful are expected to purge themselves of their sins through prayer and fasting

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Chamisa now has the support of a coalition of parties including one backed by Mugabe and members of a youthful pro-Mugabe faction that was quickly purged from the ruling party and government when Mnangagwa took office. Fox News, "Zimbabwe's historic election: A look at the top candidates," 28 July 2018 Headed up by Chad Mayes, a former GOP leader in the California Assembly who was purged for working with Democrats on a climate-change initiative, the group is fighting the prevailing winds in both the state and national parties. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Schwarzenegger, Kasich Are Going to Try to Pull California Republicans to the Middle," 22 Mar. 2018 Valerie Thomas, an Atlanta educator, was on heightened alert after receiving notification that she might be purged from Georgia’s voter rolls. Brittney Cooper, Marie Claire, "Stacey Abrams Is Just Getting Started," 11 Mar. 2019 Taken at face value, Twitter’s efforts means more than 20 percent of the platform’s 336 million strong active users could have been purged from the site. Alyssa Newcomb /, NBC News, "Twitter is purging millions of fake accounts — and investors are spooked," 9 July 2018 In late 2017, YouTube purged thousands of videos aimed at kids after finding creepy clips spreading through its supposedly family friendly online community. Mark Bergen, The Seattle Times, "Kidfluencers’ rampant YouTube marketing creates minefield for Google," 24 Mar. 2019 According to the Brennan Center, Kemp’s office purged roughly 1.5 million registered voters between the 2012 and 2016 elections. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Why the political fight in Georgia is far from over," 15 Nov. 2018 This is the time to release, purge, and say goodbye. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "A Beginner's Guide to Eclipses in 2018 and How They Can Affect Your Life," 16 July 2018 In this old Silk Road city in western China, a state security campaign involving the detention of vast numbers of people has moved to its next stage: demolishing their neighborhoods and purging their culture. Josh Chin, WSJ, "After Mass Detentions, China Razes Muslim Communities to Build a Loyal City," 20 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Take voter purges, a tactic in which state governments go through the voter registration rolls and remove people who haven’t voted recently from the polls. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The Republican Party versus democracy," 17 Dec. 2018 But through a process that Kemp calls voter roll maintenance and his opponents call voter roll purges, Kemp’s office has cancelled over 1.4 million voter registrations since 2012. Ben Nadler, The Seattle Times, "Voting rights become a flashpoint in Georgia governor’s race," 9 Oct. 2018 On Monday, the Supreme Court upheld Ohio’s controversial voter purge program in the case Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute. Michael C. Herron, Washington Post, "If more states start using Ohio’s system, how many voters will be purged?," 17 June 2018 An anonymous source also told The Daily Beast that the president had complained about losing Twitter followers due to anti-conservative social media purges. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Met Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Complained About Losing Followers, Reports Say," 24 Apr. 2019 The Saudi government said the action was a crackdown on corruption, but some within the government called it a political purge by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Justin Scheck, WSJ, "Saudis Release Consultant, Billionaire Imprisoned in Crackdown," 23 Jan. 2019 Advertising Taken together, the bans, purges and deletions of years’ worth of online material represent a loss that’s hard to absorb — blending the disappearance of intangible artifacts, art, music, communities and novel forms of communication. Hamza Shaban, The Seattle Times, "Loss of old Myspace artifacts highlights the impermanence of the web," 24 Mar. 2019 The state of emergency led to mass arrests and purges. Fox News, "A look at Turkey's post-coup crackdown," 30 Aug. 2018 And once Christianity became championed by Rome, one of the most militaristic civilizations the world has known, philosophical discussions on the nature of good and evil became martial instructions for purges and pugilism. Bettany Hughes, New York Times, "How Christians Destroyed the Ancient World," 8 June 2018

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

Verb

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

Noun

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for purge

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French purger, from Latin purigare, purgare to purify, purge, from purus pure + -igare (akin to agere to drive, do) — more at act

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Statistics for purge

Last Updated

14 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for purge

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

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More Definitions for purge

purge

verb

English Language Learners Definition of purge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to remove people from an area, country, organization, etc., often in a violent and sudden way
: to cause something to leave the body

purge

noun

English Language Learners Definition of purge (Entry 2 of 2)

: the often violent and sudden removal of people from an area, country, organization, etc.

purge

verb
\ ˈpərj How to pronounce purge (audio) \
purged; purging

Kids Definition of purge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to get rid of Ineffective workers were purged from the company.
2 : to rid of unwanted things or people The heir alone would be able to … purge the school of all who were unworthy to study magic.— J. K. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets

purge

noun

Kids Definition of purge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of ridding of what is unwanted
2 : the removal of members thought to be treacherous or disloyal a purge of party leaders

purge

verb
\ ˈpərj How to pronounce purge (audio) \
purged; purging

Medical Definition of purge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cause evacuation from (as the bowels) or of or from the bowels of drugs that purge the bowels purged the patient with a cathartic
2 : to free (itself) of suspended matter usually by sedimentation used of a liquid

intransitive verb

1 : to become purged
2 : to have or produce frequent evacuations
3 : to cause purgation

purge

noun

Medical Definition of purge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that purges especially : purgative
2 : an act or instance of purging

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\ ˈpərj How to pronounce purge (audio) \
purged; purging

Legal Definition of purge

1 : to clear (as oneself or another) of guilt purged himself of contempt
2 : to become no longer guilty of purge the contempt

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More from Merriam-Webster on purge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for purge

Spanish Central: Translation of purge

Nglish: Translation of purge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purge for Arabic Speakers

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