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 Testing for the virus uses reagents that extract, purify and stabilize genetic materials, or RNA, that are identified with COVID-19. Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY, "The first known US coronavirus case is nearly two months old — and it's still 'pretty complicated' to be tested," 13 Mar. 2020 One of its specialties is building plants to collect and purify methane from municipal sewage treatment plants, which deal with human manure. John Fialka, Scientific American, "Gas Companies Want to Recycle Your Manure," 6 Mar. 2020 This waterfall is really a way of purifying the source and sustaining the lives of those who live along its banks. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 21 Feb. 2020 Since its inception the clerical regime had sought – and failed – to purify Iran of its non-Islamic elements. The Economist, "Trapped in Iran," 28 Jan. 2020 Wetlands purify drinking water by filtering out pollutants. Mark Tutton, CNN, "The world's wetlands are a haven for wildlife, but we need to learn to love them," 31 Jan. 2020 Many of the brands are no better than what comes out of your sink; Aquafina takes Fresno tap water and purifies it. Dakota Kim, Sunset Magazine, "Do You Know Where Your Bottled Water Comes From? Hint: Partially From Drought-Ridden California," 29 Jan. 2020 At LMB in July 2019, postdoc Byung-Gil Lee finally had time on a Krios after weeks of waiting—and weeks of purifying a protein until hundreds of trillions of copies were concentrated in a single drop. Eric Hand, Science | AAAS, "‘We need a people’s cryo-EM.’ Scientists hope to bring revolutionary microscope to the masses," 23 Jan. 2020 Kiwi Botanicals sources sustainable ingredients that naturally nourish and purify skin, which is why Manuka honey can be found in all of the brand’s products. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "This Is The Buzziest Skin Care Ingredient Of 2020," 3 Jan. 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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Last Updated

24 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Purify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purify. Accessed 3 Apr. 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

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