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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Then, around 5,000 B.C., craftsmen in Eastern Europe and the Near East began to purify copper ore by burning it in charcoal fires and pouring it into ceramic molds to form chisels, ax heads and other tools. Gerard Helferich, WSJ, "‘The Age of Wood’ Review: How to Carve a Civilization," 22 Dec. 2020 The PentaPure brand system was used to purify water on Space Shuttle missions and is now used in homes and disaster relief efforts. Ana Moreno, CNN, "A filter made for astronaut urine could soon be providing drinking water on Earth," 15 Dec. 2020 The technicians then purify the substance and analyze it to ensure the quality and stability of the vaccine. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, "Russia Struggles to Make Promised Doses of Its Sputnik V Vaccine," 10 Dec. 2020 Dyson’s newest tower fan does it all: purify, humidify, and cool. Popular Science, "The 8 most helpful new home products of 2020," 3 Dec. 2020 This houseplant, displaying long, multi-colored fronds, can help purify indoor air by reducing some toxins like formaldehyde, xylene and toluene, Marino explained. NBC News, "Best indoor plants and how to care for them: Indoor plants guide," 2 Dec. 2020 Built to purify and cool up to 800-square-feet of air, this item features a 360-degree HEPA filter and captures up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, according to the manufacturer. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, "Dyson vacuums, purifiers and hair tools are majorly discounted for Black Friday 2020," 30 Oct. 2020 Indoor air quality cannot widely improve until the building industry finds ways to ventilate, heat, cool, filter and purify air in an energy efficient way. Katy Mclaughlin, WSJ, "Clean Air: The Next Luxury Apartment Perk," 9 Dec. 2020 The company is retrofitting its properties in North Texas and around the country with touchless fixtures and UV lighting and filtration systems to purify the air. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Wellness is the new watchword for Dallas-area office owners," 1 Dec. 2020

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

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Purify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purify. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on purify

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