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

He was purged from his post as party secretary in 1987 and disappeared from the public eye, replaced by Zhao Ziyang, who turned out to be similarly reform-minded. Helen Raleigh, National Review, "Thirty Years after Tiananmen, China Is Still Unwilling to Tell the Truth," 4 June 2019 In China, the past is never past, but it is frequently purged. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Memories of Tiananmen Square," 4 June 2019 Suppression tactics included gerrymandering districts, shutting down polling locations, purging voters from the rolls, and creating poll taxes in the form of voter ID laws. Bree Newsome, SELF, "The 2018 Midterm Elections Proved That Change Must Happen from the Ground Up," 15 Nov. 2018 This is a victory for federalism and the plain reading of the law, notwithstanding howls that this is somehow about purging minority voters. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Victory for Voting Law," 11 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Military specialists have described the purges as essential... Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "Former Chinese Military Chief Sentenced to Life in Prison for Corruption," 20 Feb. 2019 But the old social network’s accidental purge of 12 years’ worth of its users’ music uploads — that’s an estimated 50 million songs — was probably a close second. Hamza Shaban, The Seattle Times, "Loss of old Myspace artifacts highlights the impermanence of the web," 24 Mar. 2019 Some of Twitter's top accounts lost millions of followers to the social media' company's ongoing purge of fake and suspicious accounts, the New York Times reports. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "The Cybersecurity 202: House Democrats list states with weakest election security in new report," 13 July 2018 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

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

11 Jun 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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