pur·​ism | \ ˈpyu̇r-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce purism (audio) \

Definition of purism

1 : an example of rigid adherence to or insistence on purity or nicety especially in use of words especially : a word, phrase, or sense used chiefly by purists
2 : the quality or practice of adherence to purity especially in language

Examples of purism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The campaign to create the agency failed in part because of Nader’s purism. Nicholas Lemann, The New Yorker, 31 May 2021 For all their pizza purism, Da Michele’s pizzaioli seem to revel in flouting conventions. Francesco Lastrucci, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Feb. 2021 Many therapists bristled at the critiques, seeing a strain of zealotry or scientific purism that ignored the messy, idiosyncratic demands of treating actual human beings. Benedict Carey, New York Times, 16 Oct. 2020 The Band had established its own indelible catalog of earthy, mysterious Americana, and Dylan had clearly won every bygone battle against folky purism. Jon Pareles, New York Times, 5 June 2019 Aavik was part of a wave of linguistic purism that was then sweeping Europe. The Economist, 5 Sep. 2019 One of Sarah Copeland’s salad recipes in her lovely new cookbook evokes the cooking-from-the-market spirit, not the purism associated with the classic. Joe Yonan, Washington Post, 23 June 2019 Is the impulse behind this a kind of purism or a kind of self-deception? Neel Mukherjee, New York Times, 7 May 2018 Not for fries purists, but purism does tend to take the fun out of things. Robert Philpot, star-telegram, 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'purism.' 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 purism

1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for purism

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Purism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purism. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on purism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about purism


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