purify

verb
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

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Other Words from purify

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

Synonyms for purify

Synonyms

cleanse, purge, sanctify

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But now a group of researchers from Columbia University have developed a process designed to purify industrial hypersaline brines. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "We Might Finally Be Able to Safely Drink Salt Water," 8 May 2019 Day two began with the Haldi ceremony, in which the bride and groom are covered with a turmeric paste by family and friends — the yellow hue of the spice is believed to purify the souls of the bride and groom-to-be. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "Influencer Diipa Khosla Wore 9 Different Looks for Her 4-Day Indian Wedding," 8 Feb. 2019 But in the real world—in your home, say, or in your office space—the notion that incorporating a few plants can purify your air doesn’t have much hard science to back it up. Markham Heid, Time, "You Asked: Can Indoor Plants Really Purify the Air?," 17 Jan. 2018 The fact that Gandhi had three such bedfellows (all after Kasturba’s death) may incline us to think that this really was a self-purifying therapy rather than an infatuation with a particular girl. Ferdinand Mount, WSJ, "‘Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World’ Review: The Prophet as Politician," 1 Nov. 2018 As an alternative, water may be purified by bringing it to a rapid boil for 3 to 5 minutes. sandiegouniontribune.com, "Here's what you should buy for your home should disaster strike," 8 July 2018 Aside from adding life to a room, plants absorb toxins, purify the air, and can actually reduce noise levels. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "8 Ways to Feel Happier at Home When Winter’s Bringing You Down," 15 Feb. 2019 Forest management keep our trees healthy, which in turn helps purify the air and waterways. Michigan Wildlife Council, Detroit Free Press, "Seeing the forest for the trees: Healthy forests bring abundant wildlife," 7 Mar. 2018 Look for cotton-wicked vegetable (often soy-based) or beeswax candles; the latter may even neutralize airborne allergens and may help purify the air. Gina Tomaine, Good Housekeeping, "13 Best Natural Candles You'll Actually Be Proud To Gift This Year," 10 Nov. 2017

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near purify

purificator

purificatory

puriform

purify

Purim

purine

puriri

Statistics for purify

Last Updated

20 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for purify

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

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More Definitions for purify

purify

verb

English Language Learners Definition of purify

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

purify

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

Kids Definition of purify

: to make pure : free from impurities

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More from Merriam-Webster on purify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with purify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for purify

Spanish Central: Translation of purify

Nglish: Translation of purify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purify for Arabic Speakers

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