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

Other Words from purify

purifier \ ˈpyu̇r-​ə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce purify (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.
Recent Examples on the Web Even the San Diego region’s dependence on the river could be eased in the near future as sizable recycling systems come online with plants in San Diego, Oceanside and East County that will purify wastewater into drinking water. Michael Smolenscolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 May 2022 Other research projects conducted by the Axiom crew rangedfrom studying self-assembling technology for future space habitats to devices to purify air on space stations, and more. cleveland, 28 Apr. 2022 Buttons on the front turn the device on, dry the waste, purify it, and open the lid. Richard Baguley, Wired, 31 Mar. 2022 The latter is actually a must-have feature in a system that uses motors near the ears to purify the air. Chris Smith, BGR, 30 Mar. 2022 Plus, organic aloe leaf juice and blood orange oil soothe and purify the skin with healing antioxidants. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Apr. 2022 The foaming cleanser is packed with jojoba oil and kaolin and glacial clays to moisturize and purify the skin. Gabi Thorne, Allure, 7 Apr. 2022 Stygofauna may also provide what’s known as ecosystem services—research has suggested that the creatures could help purify groundwater by removing contaminants or pathogens. James Gaines, Wired, 12 Feb. 2022 Prosecutors there are now investigating how the Russian, and others, gained citizenship under a law for descendants of Jews expelled during the Inquisition, a violent religious upheaval meant to purify parts of the Catholic world from nonbelievers. Patricia Kowsmann, WSJ, 3 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Purify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purify. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for purify


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

Kids Definition of purify

: to make pure : free from impurities

More from Merriam-Webster on purify

Nglish: Translation of purify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purify for Arabic Speakers


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