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 For a triple play, Biden could also speak up against those on the left who want to stigmatize and purge from civil society anyone who has worked in the Trump administration. Star Tribune, "How to heal U.S.: Some suggestions for President-elect Biden," 13 Nov. 2020 The only thing guaranteed is that Trump will use his come-from-behind victory as an excuse to purge his administration of any remaining non-sycophants and sic his Justice Department on his political rivals—the last four years, only more so. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Even the Pandemic Couldn’t Kill Trumpism," 3 Nov. 2020 Some fear that Florida’s request that counties purge some ineligible voters and place guards at mail ballot drop boxes could discourage or confuse voters. Rachel Glickhouse, ProPublica, "Electionland 2020: Polling Place Safety, Misinformation, Mask Issues and More," 23 Oct. 2020 Since taking power, Law and Justice has been able to purge the top court and restock its bench with conservative judges, using mechanisms that the opposition says are norm-breaking and extra-constitutional. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, "Poland’s Top Court Tightens Strict Abortion Laws," 22 Oct. 2020 Harrison was unveiling a new proposal to automatically purge regulations that are more than 10 years old unless the agency decides to keep them. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, "Trump Races to Weaken Environmental and Worker Protections, and Implement Other Last-Minute Policies, Before Jan. 20," 25 Nov. 2020 Piller is tasked with proving that van Meegeren is merely an opportunist and not a Nazi sympathizer — a tall task in the years after the country, reeling from years of occupation, was looking to turn over a new leaf and purge itself of the past. Shaena Montanari, The Arizona Republic, "Nazi art history mystery 'The Last Vermeer' proves you shouldn't paint with a broad brush," 18 Nov. 2020 In Portland, Oregon, Archbishop Alexander Sample led a procession of more than 200 people to a city park on Oct. 17, offered a prayer, then conducted a Latin exorcism rite intended to purge the community of evil. David Crary, Star Tribune, "Exorcism: Increasingly frequent, including after US protests," 31 Oct. 2020 In Portland, Oregon, Archbishop Alexander Sample led a procession of more than 200 people to a city park on Oct. 17, offered a prayer, then conducted a Latin exorcism rite intended to purge the community of evil. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Exorcism: Increasingly frequent, including after US protests," 31 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The app-store purge comes as China has stepped up efforts to police its internet, tightening content controls and censorship, including a demand that Tripadvisor and more than 100 other apps be removed from the Apple store in the country. Tim Higgins, WSJ, "Apple’s China App Store Sheds Videogames as Beijing Tightens Internet Control," 23 Dec. 2020 Further free from the TikTok purge are OnlyFans creators who are either famous or more mainstream, like actress Bella Thorne. Erin Corbett, refinery29.com, "Is There A “TikTok Purge” Of Sex Workers? Not If They’re Already Famous," 22 Dec. 2020 The Trump appointee who oversees Voice of America and other federal broadcasting operations continued an ongoing purge of top leadership by naming two conservative allies to run two of the most prominent networks. Washington Post, "Trump appointee names conservative allies to run Radio Free Europe and Cuba broadcast agency," 19 Dec. 2020 Spain's peaceful transition to democracy didn't lead to a widespread purge in the military ranks as happened in other countries emerging from authoritarian regimes. CiarÁn Giles, Star Tribune, "Spain: Military chief dismisses far-right ex-military chats," 4 Dec. 2020 By last Thursday afternoon, as the Trump administration’s petty—and largely performative—purge of officials seen as insufficiently loyal spread across the government, Reuters reported that Krebs expected to be fired imminently. Garrett M. Graff, Wired, "Firing Christopher Krebs Crosses a Line—Even for Trump," 17 Nov. 2020 Krebs, who was ousted by President Donald Trump in a post-election purge of national security officials, was invited by the top Democrat on the committee, Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan. Editors, USA TODAY, "'Blockbuster' winter storm, coronavirus pandemic, Chris Krebs testifies: 5 things to know Wednesday," 16 Dec. 2020 Today's purge of unverified content is an extension of that policy change, Pornhub explained. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Millions of videos purged from Pornhub amid crackdown on user content," 14 Dec. 2020 The most recent example of the left's determination to seek purity was its purge of Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California as the Democrats' ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. John Kass Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, "If Rahm returns, we'll know the old guard has been restored," 3 Dec. 2020

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

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Purge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purge. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on purge

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