pu·ri·fy | \ˈpyu̇r-ə-ˌfī \
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 \ noun

Synonyms for purify


clarify, clear, distill (also distil), filter, fine

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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

Preppers are ready to purify water to drink, hunt and butcher for meals, and scare off anyone who tries to get a piece of their post-apocalyptic bliss, possibly via gunfire. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "What exactly are “preppers” prepping for?," 25 May 2018 The report says the mother was putting drops of hydrochloric acid and water purifying solution (which contains chlorine) in her child’s drink. Nick Mcgill, Indianapolis Star, "IMPD: Mom added bleach to drink as cure for child's autism," 13 Feb. 2018 Add these seven household plants that NASA scientists have discovered help remove formaldehyde and purify air to your home for a safer, cleaner atmosphere. Emily Main, Good Housekeeping, "7 Plants That Can Actually Purify Your Indoor Air," 21 Nov. 2017 The Konjac Sponge combines naturally alkaline konjac root and exfoliating, purifying French clay to clear out pores and balance skin with each use. Melanie Yates, Woman's Day, "Clear Your Skin With a Mini-Facial Every Day," 25 Feb. 2015 Meanwhile, an interior green wall is designed to purify air and an exterior plant wall acts as a foundation for micro-farming. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Tiny house from UN Environment and Yale raises the bar for eco-living," 11 July 2018 Gentry received two blood transfusions and was placed on dialysis, which purified her blood and prevented the further spread of her infection, allowing her to heal. Fox News, "Emotional moment mom meets her baby for first time after she went into septic shock during labor," 10 July 2018 In the last century the whole world was scandalized about what the Nazis did to purify the race. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump team cannot get its story straight on separating migrant families," 18 June 2018 Last century, the whole world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Nicole Winfield, BostonGlobe.com, "Pope: Abortion is ‘white glove’ equivalent to Nazi crimes," 17 June 2018

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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Statistics for purify

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for purify

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

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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 \
purified; purifying

Kids Definition of purify

: to make pure : free from impurities

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