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

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to grow or become pure or clean

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.
Recent Examples on the Web However, this isn’t just an air purifier; it’s also meant to cool the room down, although users can turn the fan option on and off while still purifying the room. Alida Nugent, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 Nov. 2023 And because most homes typically have purified or distilled water available, the lack of support for tap water isn’t a concern. Jon Bitner, wsj.com, 21 Sep. 2023 This means that it has been purified and concentrated, resulting in a more potent form of the cannabinoid. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 5 Sep. 2023 But the windows will never be cleaned; the most that can be hoped for is a hard, purifying rain. Clare Sestanovich, The New Yorker, 6 Nov. 2023 From a religious standpoint, incense is also used to purify and cleanse the air. Chelsea Hylton, Los Angeles Times, 25 Oct. 2023 Set in the near future where artificial intelligence reigns supreme and human emotions have become a threat, The Beast sees Gabrielle (Seydoux) attempt to purify her DNA by going back into her past lives. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Oct. 2023 There’s a full day and night regimen that includes a cleanser, a toner, a purifying mask, an eye cream, a moisturizer, and a night serum. Nykia Spradley, Glamour, 20 Sep. 2023 Help purify the air your parents breathe by giving them an air purifier. Jenna Clark, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'purify.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near purify

Cite this Entry

“Purify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purify. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pu·​ri·​fy ˈpyu̇r-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce purify (audio)
purified; purifying
: to make or become pure

More from Merriam-Webster on purify

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