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 USA TODAY Twitter is rethinking its plans to purge inactive accounts, including those started by users who have died. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Twitter won't be removing inactive accounts after backlash over profiles of dead users," 30 Nov. 2019 But some agencies, including the governor’s office, went the wrong direction with their policies, instead, giving employees permission to purge a bit too quickly. The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Editorial: A top priority for lawmakers in 2020? Retain those state emails for a year or longer," 27 Nov. 2019 Efforts have been made to purge Buddhism of folk religion in Sri Lanka and Thailand, too. The Economist, "Monks in Myanmar have a new target," 14 Nov. 2019 Other countries efforts to force tech companies to purge more questionable content from their platforms by changing similar safe harbor protections have faced criticism for chilling free speech. Wired, "An Actual Debate Over the Internet’s Favorite Legal Shield," 17 Oct. 2019 Vested interests, corrupt political parties, and patronage systems that have propped up the autocrats for decades are too hard to purge. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Robert Mugabe and the Fate of Democracy in Africa," 9 Sep. 2019 HomeAway had already agreed — in a legal settlement after years of trading lawsuits with the city — to purge listings for unregistered vacation rentals by the end of the month, the revenue bureau said. oregonlive, "Airbnb to share data with Portland for tax, license enforcement," 5 Sep. 2019 State officials earlier this year sent notices to more than 230,000 people — who elections officials say mostly are people who have died or moved — earlier this year, informing them they were scheduled to be purged from the rolls in September. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com, "Ohio to continue with voter purge Friday after federal judge declines to block it," 3 Sep. 2019 After learning recently that one state department was starting a policy of purging most emails after 30 days, The Post requested email retention policies for 22 state offices and departments. Alex Burness, The Denver Post, "Emails are being purged across Colorado state government," 8 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There’s some kind of a release of energy and a purge of soul. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "Gemini Man Director Ang Lee Wants to Change the Way We See Movies," 10 Oct. 2019 Cissna was pushed out by the White House amid a purge of top DHS officials that also resulted in the ouster of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "Former top immigration official ousted by Trump returns to administration," 3 Oct. 2019 The result was total anarchy fueled by bloody purges of whoever happened to be on the wrong side of the revolution, which was constantly changing in the 1790s. Steele Brand, Twin Cities, "Steele Brand: Why knowing Roman history is key to preserving America’s future," 19 Sep. 2019 That seems like fiction based on how poorly the roster left behind following this offseason’s purge of talent performed in its home opener, which was played in front of 65,012 who deserved a refund considering the Dolphins laid down all game. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Kelly: After ugly loss to Ravens, Dolphins must avoid becoming NFL’s punchline | Commentary," 8 Sep. 2019 The purges, planned for Nov. 1, will forever erase public records that could someday be needed to facilitate any number of investigations into how the state is operating using taxpayer dollars. The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Editorial: Accountability will suffer if state employee emails are deleted," 31 Oct. 2019 Federal courts blocked the state from carrying out a sweeping purge of the voter rolls on the eve of the 2016 election. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Are the Democrats Even Worried About Voter Suppression?," 16 Oct. 2019 In Shanghai, that repression was launched with a bloody purge on April 12, 1927, conducted with the help of a motley army assembled by the omnipresent, triad-like Green Gang and its powerful chieftain Du Yuesheng. Mishi Saran, Quartz, "Can Hong Kong’s fighting spirit endure? An answer might lie in China’s own Communist history," 19 Sep. 2019 Some purge after binging sessions, leading to health problems and even heart failure. Jerome Gence, National Geographic, "Asia’s live-streaming industry promises intimacy. So why are users so lonely?," 31 July 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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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

10 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Purge.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purge?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=p&file=purge001. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for purge

purge

verb
How to pronounce purge (audio)

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

Comments on purge

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