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

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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 The addition of lactic acid keeps shine at bay and works to purge pores of impurities. Southern Living, "The Best Skin-Care Products for Your 30s," 9 Apr. 2021 The new contract also removes the ability for employees to purge disciplinary records from their files. Jessica Boehm, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix police will get raise after agreeing to more accountability. Activists call it a 'bribe'," 7 Apr. 2021 Witnesses in Bora accuse the soldiers of trying to purge ethnic Tigrayans from the area. Lucy Kassa, Los Angeles Times, "In an out-of-sight war, a massacre comes to light," 19 Mar. 2021 Retailers will continue to purge underperforming locations while negotiating lower rents from landlords to make the remaining spaces more viable. Suzanne Kapner, WSJ, "Covid-19 Rewrote the Rules of Shopping. What Is Next?," 12 Mar. 2021 Republican lawmakers questioned the refusal to purge over 200,000 voters who hadn’t cast ballots in years, a decision made by the state’s Elections Commission to mass mail ballots, and the determination to not allow the Green Party on the ballot. Benjamin Yount, Washington Examiner, "Lawmakers demand investigation following report on Green Bay Election outsourcing," 10 Mar. 2021 The Republican Party is facing what many observers are describing as a William F. Buckley moment—a make-or-break opportunity to purge the racists and conspiracy theorists who are rapidly gaining control of the GOP. Rick Perlstein, The New Republic, "The John Birch Society Never Left," 8 Mar. 2021 After days of Republicans proclaiming there would be no civil war in the party, the attacks represented a stark reminder that Mr. Trump and his closest associates are determined to purge their critics. New York Times, "Trump Loyalists Spurn ‘Failed Republican Establishment of Yesteryear’," 26 Feb. 2021 As Utah’s population grows more diverse, an effort is under way at the Capitol to purge state law of a controversial English-only provision that passed at the ballot box a couple decades ago. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah could scrap its English-only law," 25 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Softer waistlines, altered lifestyles, and the arrival of warm weather all point to an impending pants purge. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "These Stores Reward Customers for Recycling Old Jeans," 13 Apr. 2021 The leadership purge came as it was disclosed that Officer Brian Sicknick had died following a clash with the Jan. 6 rioters. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Death of Officer William Evans in new attack is another hit for staggered Capitol Police," 3 Apr. 2021 Almost all of the voters targeted in the purge were African American. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "The county attorney for a largely Black community in Georgia was pushing to limit voting access in the state. Residents there protested -- and now he's out," 17 Mar. 2021 The congress saw Kim Yong Chol, who twice met Trump at the White House, return as the party’s United Front director, despite rumors of his purge. Jon Herskovitz, Bloomberg.com, "Kim Jong Un Appears to Hold Military Parade After Blasting U.S.," 11 Jan. 2021 The Citgo Six may be destined to become mere footnotes in an old-fashioned purge. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "The Jailing of the Citgo Six," 27 Dec. 2020 The measures limit mail-in voting, impose stricter voter identification requirements, purge voter rolls, and make voter registration more difficult, according to the Center. Adam Brewster And Caitlin Huey-burns, CBS News, "Proposals to restrict voting gain traction in Republican states," 25 Feb. 2021 In 2019 an investigator discovered that the state of Ohio had mistakenly placed about 40,000 people on a voter purge list. John Blake, CNN, "Four ways 'Jim Crow 2.0' is shaping this presidential election," 1 Nov. 2020 John Davis was first among 50 New York lawyers, in 1933, to petition the secretary of state to protest Hitler’s purge of Jewish lawyers. Roger Lowenstein, WSJ, "‘The Anointed’ Review: Gentlemen Play a Ruffian’s Game," 28 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for purge

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for purge

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Purge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purge. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on purge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for purge

Nglish: Translation of purge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purge for Arabic Speakers

Comments on purge

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