pu·​ri·​fy | \ ˈpyu̇r-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce purify (audio) \
purified; purifying

Definition of purify

transitive verb

: to make pure: such as
a : to clear from material defilement or imperfection
b : to free from guilt or moral or ceremonial blemish
c : to free from undesirable elements

intransitive verb

: to grow or become pure or clean

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from purify

purifier \ ˈpyu̇r-​ə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce purify (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for purify


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of purify in a Sentence

We purified the water by boiling it. You can purify the air with a filtration system. a bottle of purified water She believed she could purify herself through constant prayer.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web It’s powered by a blend of thyme, cucumber, olive and eucalyptus to soothe and purify skin, while hyaluronic acid pulls in moisture to hydrate and rejuvenate. Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 29 July 2021 In 1945, after a year in Tennessee, he was transferred to Dayton, Ohio, where the U.S. secretly built large facilities to produce and purify plutonium. Ronald Radosh, WSJ, 15 July 2021 The surge prompted the mayor of Orlando to ask residents to conserve water in order to limit the strain on the city’s supply of liquid oxygen, which is needed both to purify drinking water and to treat Covid-19 patients. New York Times, 24 Aug. 2021 The City of Winter Park joined Orlando in asking residents to conserve water because of the shortage of liquid oxygen being used to purify water for COVID-19 patients in hospitals. David Harris, orlandosentinel.com, 21 Aug. 2021 Both Waterstep and Water with Blessings use filters and purifiers that purify existing water sources to avoid deadly waterborne illnesses, rather than expensive and difficult-to-deliver bottled water. Chris Kenning, The Courier-Journal, 20 Aug. 2021 According to company officials, Alabama Graphite will use a proprietary process to purify the raw graphite and refine it into battery grade purity. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, 23 June 2021 The arboreal installation is intended to help purify the densely populated area’s air quality, while reinforcing the eroding foundation and providing local families with a shady spot to commune with nature. Kareem Rashed, Robb Report, 4 Aug. 2021 Pharmaceutical producers draw blood with those antibodies and purify them to be used in victims. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'purify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of purify

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for purify

Middle English purifien, from Anglo-French purifier, from Latin purificare, from Latin purus + -ificare -ify

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best air purifier of 2021.

Learn More About purify

Time Traveler for purify

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near purify




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for purify

Last Updated

9 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Purify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purify. Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for purify



English Language Learners Definition of purify

: to remove dirty or harmful substances from (something)
: to free (someone) from guilt or evil thoughts


pu·​ri·​fy | \ ˈpyu̇r-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce purify (audio) \
purified; purifying

Kids Definition of purify

: to make pure : free from impurities

More from Merriam-Webster on purify

Nglish: Translation of purify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purify for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!