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


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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 Turkey has uranium deposits — the obligatory raw material — and over the decades has shown great interest in learning the formidable skills needed to purify uranium as well as to turn it into plutonium, the two main fuels of atom bombs. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "Erdogan’s Ambitions Go Beyond Syria. He Says He Wants Nuclear Weapons.," 20 Oct. 2019 The researchers now plan to build a larger-scale vortex machine and explore the different solutions, levels of force and settings that allow different proteins to refold, many of which are not currently cost-effective to purify. Sarah Lewin Frasier, Scientific American, "Unboiled Egg Untangles a Knotty Protein Problem," 2 Feb. 2015 But the absence of a public declaration of the level to which the Iranians will purify means the void can be filled with suspicion. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "Iran's slow-burn nuclear strategy: Wait out Trump and get new deal from his successor," 7 July 2019 Writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons prosecuted their case mercilessly and purified the pernicious influence of comics from popular culture. Wired, "The 11 Best New TV Shows Coming This Fall," 16 Sep. 2019 Their dietary habits purify the environment by removing sources of disease. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Vultures will be showcased Labor Day weekend at San Diego Zoo Safari Park," 27 Aug. 2019 Clean-water tank Reactor chamber Multistage filters purify the liquid into water that is used to flush the toilet. Manuel Canales, National Geographic, "These new toilets could solve a global problem," 22 June 2019 The quantum-dot filter essentially purifies the color of the light coming from the LEDs to get a better, more vivid, and more saturated color. Joe Lindsey, Popular Mechanics, "OLED or QLED: Which TV Is Right for You?," 4 June 2019 Rikishis often toss a handful onto the dirt floor before competing, a tradition meant to purify the air. Jill Langlois, Los Angeles Times, "In Brazil, land of beaches and samba, a sumo wrestling academy thrives," 10 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for purify

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for purify

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Purify.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purifies. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for purify


How to pronounce purify (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on purify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for purify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with purify

Spanish Central: Translation of purify

Nglish: Translation of purify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on purify

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