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 The 20,000-square-foot spa complex comprises an indoor pool, a traditional hammam with light therapy, and a new thermal pool, surrounded by 400 plants that add a calm, greenhouse feel and help purify the air. BostonGlobe.com, "A major refresh for a Conn. inn can mean a major refresh for its guests," 22 Apr. 2021 Studies have shown that plants help purify the air, reduce stress, and improve productivity and mood. Niema Jordan, Essence, "Thumbs Turning Green? Your Ultimate Guide To Plant Parenthood Is Here," 22 Mar. 2021 Many of these smaller planes, including regional jets, don't need HEPA filters to purify cabin air because it is never recirculated -- air is constantly refreshed from outside the plane while in flight. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "How to fly safely a year into the pandemic," 9 Apr. 2021 However, neither Fleming nor his fellow scientists throughout England were able to purify the substance so that it might be further studied or used to treat disease. Leonard Lichtblau, Star Tribune, "Big Pharma comes together for greater good," 7 Mar. 2021 After a few short years, researchers from American universities and from pharmaceutical companies developed methods to ferment, extract and purify large batches of clinically useful penicillin. Leonard Lichtblau, Star Tribune, "Big Pharma comes together for greater good," 7 Mar. 2021 In addition to cooling and heating, this SereneLife air conditioner also includes a fan and a dehumidifying mode that helps purify the air and reduces humidity levels. Sam Lauron, Better Homes & Gardens, "The 7 Best Portable Air Conditioners, According to Thousands of Reviews," 9 Mar. 2021 Murad claims that this cleanser helps dissolve excess oil, purify pores, clear existing blemishes, and prevent future breakouts. Landon Groves, chicagotribune.com, "Murad Clarifying Cleanser review: Can this cleanser reduce breakouts and excess oil?," 18 Nov. 2020 Scientists extract and purify the protein and then mix in an immune-boosting chemical. Lauran Neergaard, Anchorage Daily News, "Novavax says its COVID-19 vaccine works but is less effective against variants," 29 Jan. 2021

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 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Purify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purify. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for purify



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

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


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