pu·​ri·​ty | \ˈpyu̇r-ə-tē \

Definition of purity 

1 : the quality or state of being pure

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Examples of purity in a Sentence

struggling to live a life of purity while surrounded by wickedness

Recent Examples on the Web

North Korea's state ideology is deeply rooted in the idea of racial purity. Siobhán O'grady, Washington Post, "Dennis Rodman might go to Singapore. Here’s the story of his friendship with Kim Jong Un.," 6 June 2018 But there's a sort of purity to the grass roots of surfing that none of us wants to see disappear or taken away. Joe Haakenson, latimes.com, "Riding artificial waves in the middle of farm country," 4 May 2018 Where Vermeer’s Girl wore a pearl, for millennia a symbol of purity, Kerstens’s young woman wears household trash. Gabriella Fuller, ELLE Decor, "Photographer Hendrik Kerstens Is a Modern Day Dutch Master," 16 Oct. 2018 To conservatives and squishy moderates, Ocasio-Cortez’s defeat of a 10-term incumbent is proof that Democrats are willing to commit electoral suicide for the sake of ideological purity. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "The “do what you want” theory of politics," 18 July 2018 For a generation, scholars told us to ignore the facts of an artist’s life, that the art object had a kind of purity that should be considered in isolation. Mary Louise Schumacher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Leaders rethinking choices and presentations at Milwaukee art museums in age of #MeToo," 18 May 2018 The red-headed Bry, in her first film role, has the kind of fresh-faced purity that can’t be faked. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Guardians' beautifully portrays the dynamics of a family farm in WWI France," 18 May 2018 The definition is being parsed daily and individual acts held against a subjective scale of purity. Roy Bragg, San Antonio Express-News, "The warrior wants peace," 17 May 2018 Both Wohlleben and the villagers, perhaps, were tapping into the old German romanticism about the purity of forests. Diàna Markosian, Smithsonian, "Do Trees Talk to Each Other?," 22 Feb. 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for purity

Middle English purete, from Anglo-French purité, from Late Latin puritat-, puritas, from Latin purus pure

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Statistics for purity

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for purity

The first known use of purity was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for purity



English Language Learners Definition of purity

: lack of dirty or harmful substances

: lack of guilt or evil thoughts


pu·​ri·​ty | \ˈpyu̇r-ə-tē \

Kids Definition of purity

1 : freedom from dirt or impurities

2 : freedom from sin or guilt


pu·​ri·​ty | \ˈpyu̇r-ət-ē \

Medical Definition of purity 

: the quality or state of being pure

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More from Merriam-Webster on purity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for purity

Spanish Central: Translation of purity

Nglish: Translation of purity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on purity

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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