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 The part of the facility that exploded and caught fire is used for purifying CBD, Barnes said. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Explosion and fire damages major hemp processing facility in Kentucky, authorities say," 8 Nov. 2019 Ever since the biblical prophet Isaiah, enshrined on Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and in the poetry of William Butler Yeats, burning coal has represented pain’s ability to purify and cleanse. Los Angeles Times, "Review: At LACMA, Betye Saar’s distinctive assemblage art probes American racism," 24 Sep. 2019 Extracting and purifying collagen from animal remains, a common medical source, is complex and expensive. Harini Barath, Scientific American, "Wild Silkworms Produce Proteins Primed for Bioprinting," 24 Nov. 2019 The tall machines spin at supersonic speeds to purify uranium, and governments typically classify their designs as top secret. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "Erdogan’s Ambitions Go Beyond Syria. He Says He Wants Nuclear Weapons.," 20 Oct. 2019 Lefkowitz told the Scouts such methods are used to refine gasoline or purify alcohol in a still. David Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "Hundreds of Scouts visit Aberdeen Proving Ground for annual STEM in Scouting event," 1 Oct. 2019 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

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

30 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Purify.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purify. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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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

What made you want to look up purify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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