pur·​ist | \ˈpyu̇r-ist \

Definition of purist 

: a person who adheres strictly and often excessively to a tradition especially : one preoccupied with the purity of a language and its protection from the use of foreign or altered forms

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from purist

puristic \ pyu̇-​ˈri-​stik \ adjective
puristically \ pyu̇-​ˈri-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of purist in a Sentence

a purist who only drinks European wines

Recent Examples on the Web

The approach seemed to anger the game’s purists and make Chu divisive to the show’s fan community, but that’s a subject destined to be the starting point for some other film. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Who Is Arthur Chu?: When Jeopardy ended, the real puzzles of online life began," 20 May 2018 Loading View on Instagram The result is a sneaker that may upset purists, poking and pulling from classic silhouettes, Frankenstein-style. Jake Woolf, GQ, "Don C Reveals His New Air Jordan Collaboration," 18 Apr. 2018 Newslook Rolls-Royce has unveiled its first modern SUV, a vehicle that has already caused a stir among purists at the very thought of the world's leading super-luxury brand making anything but a car. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "Rolls-Royce reveals Cullinan SUV at a price of $325,000," 10 May 2018 Not for fries purists, but purism does tend to take the fun out of things. Robert Philpot, star-telegram, "Friday is Fry Day — National French Fry Day, that is. Here are a few faves.," 13 July 2018 For other world history purists, the only correct syllabus is the current one. Julia Jacobs, New York Times, "A.P. World History Tries to Trim Thousands of Years, and Educators Revolt," 21 June 2018 Both drew little critical acclaim and were derided in many purist circles, but the success of their respective diamond-selling 1990 albums, Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em and To The Extreme, put them in rarified air. Stereo Williams, Billboard, "Drake's 2018 Has Been Huge. But Is He the Biggest Rapper Ever?," 13 July 2018 The base of Sonic’s slush is sweet, turning off some purist pickle-juice fans who prefer the sour notes, says Scott Uehlein, Sonic’s vice president of product innovation and development. Julie Jargon, WSJ, "Done Hiding Their Shameful Secret, Pickle-Juice Drinkers Go Public," 28 June 2018 Professional critics found such works mawkish, and heavy-metal purists dissed Linkin Park in crasser terms—gay or, yes, girly. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Linkin Park Gave to Pop Music," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'purist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of purist

1699, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about purist

Dictionary Entries near purist






puritan father

puritan gray

Statistics for purist

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for purist

The first known use of purist was in 1699

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for purist



English Language Learners Definition of purist

: a person who has very strong ideas about what is correct or acceptable and who usually opposes changes to traditional methods and practices

Comments on purist

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


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!