Definition of purify in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpjʊərɪfʌɪ/

verb (purifies, purifying, purified)

[with object]
1Remove contaminants from: the filtration plant is able to purify 70 tons of water a day (as adjective purified) purified linseed oil figurative they set out to purify art by reviving the spirit and style of early religious painting
More example sentences
  • Hitler's goals were to purify Germany by removing people with all but the purest Teutonic blood and to expand German territory throughout Europe.
  • ‘He came and went so fast we were not able to purify him by waving branches over his head,’ said the angry Yasukuni Shrine monks.
  • Related work to purify semiconducting nanotubes and remove graphitic contamination is also being carried out.
clean, make pure, refine, cleanse, decontaminate;
filter, sieve, strain, sift, clarify, clear, freshen, deodorize;
technical autoclave, liquate, rectify
1.1 (purify something from) Extract something from: genomic DNA was purified from whole blood
More example sentences
  • Total RNA was isolated as described previously, with the inclusion of an ethylene glycol monobutyl ether precipitation to purify samples from contaminating carbohydrates prior to the lithium chloride precipitation of RNA.
  • The researchers then extract purified proteins from the gel.
  • Burcon developed a process to extract and purify valuable proteins from canola meal.
1.2Make ceremonially clean: a ritual bath to purify the soul
More example sentences
  • Priests and old scriptures say that water cleaned and purified the damned.
  • Gowri bemoans of her action of coming into physical contact with Gange, a lower caste woman, and decides to purify herself by taking bath in holy water.
  • The ancient scriptures believed the Yamuna to be sacred enough to purify one's soul.
purge, cleanse, clear, free, unburden, deliver, relieve;
rare lustrate



Pronunciation: /pjʊərɪfɪˈkeɪt(ə)ri/
Example sentences
  • The hordes of people who visit the temple, the grace and beauty of the goddess, the purificatory water of the waterfalls - all made us feel that we are back in the land of undisputed faith - our own.
  • In Western art, abstraction has been a tendency toward a purificatory and heroic emptiness of figuration, or of reference.
  • A discussion of the role of dogs in purificatory rituals is not complete without also a comment on their mistress, Hecate, ‘the goddess of ghosts and purifications’.


Pronunciation: /ˈpjʊərɪfʌɪə/
Example sentences
  • The gifts include digital cameras, TV sets, air conditioners, cordless phones, DVD players, mini hi-fis, air purifiers, MP3 players and microwave ovens.
  • The shelter boxes, which cost £460 each, are multi-purpose plastic containers containing tents, sleeping bags, cooking pots, water purifiers and other essentials that could save lives.
  • Trees are natural air purifiers: A healthy tree can filter out as many as seven thousand dust and smoke particles per liter of air.


Middle English: from Old French purifier, from Latin purificare, from purus 'pure'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pur¦ify

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