- to rid of whatever is impure or undesirable; cleanse; purify.
- to rid, clear, or free (usually followed by of or from): to purge a political party of disloyal members.
- to clear of imputed guilt or ritual uncleanliness.
- to clear away or wipe out legally (an offense, accusation, etc.) by atonement or other suitable action.
- to remove by cleansing or purifying (often followed by away, off, or out).
- to clear or empty (the bowels) by causing evacuation.
- to cause evacuation of the bowels of (a person).
- to put to death or otherwise eliminate (undesirable or unwanted members) from a political organization, government, nation, etc.
- to drive off (undesirable gases) from a furnace or stove.
- to free (a furnace or stove) of undesirable gases.
- to become cleansed or purified.
- to undergo or cause purging of the bowels.
- the act or process of purging.
- the removal or elimination of members of a political organization, government, nation, etc., who are considered disloyal or otherwise undesirable.
- something that purges, as a purgative medicine or dose.
Origin of purge
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for purges
The purges continued, albeit less dramatically, through the fall of last year.Kim Jong Un Purges No. 2, Jang Song Thaek
Gordon G. Chang
December 5, 2013
It all started with her leftist father, who barely avoided the purges of the 1970s.Gay Syrian Blogger a Hoax?
June 6, 2011
Purges must go too far, because extreme capriciousness is what stops the frenzy.Whose Heads Will Roll on Nov. 5?
October 28, 2008
Wherefore he purges his huskiness by loud and repeated recitation.The Apologia and Florida of Apuleius of Madaura
He therefore advises him to drink hellebore, which purges the brain.
Iron and Aloetic purges may be prescribed in Chlorosis and Amenorrha.The Action of Medicines in the System
Frederick William Headland
He eats a quantity of earth, which purges him thoroughly and expels the amphistoma.Parasites
T. Spencer Cobbold
A deed like this, performed from whatever motive, purges his offences, whatever they may be.The Intriguers
William Le Queux
- (tr) to rid (something) of (impure or undesirable elements)
- (tr) to rid (a state, political party, etc) of (dissident or troublesome people)
- to empty (the bowels) by evacuation of faeces
- to cause (a person) to evacuate his bowels
- to clear (a person) of a charge
- to free (oneself) of guilt, as by atonementto purge contempt
- (intr) to be cleansed or purified
- the act or process of purging
- the elimination of opponents or dissidents from a state, political party, etc
- a purgative drug or agent; cathartic
Word Origin and History for purges
c.1300, "clear of a charge or suspicion;" late 14c., "cleanse, clear, purify," from Anglo-French purger, Old French purgier "wash, clean; refine, purify" morally or physically (12c., Modern French purger) and directly from Latin purgare "cleanse, make clean; purify," especially of the body, "free from what is superfluous; remove, clear away," figuratively "refute, justify, vindicate" (also source of Spanish purgar, Italian purgare), from Old Latin purigare, from purus "pure" (see pure) + root of agere "to drive, make" (see act (n.)). Related: Purged; purging.
1560s, "that which purges," from purge (v.). Meaning "a purgative, an act of purging" is from 1590s. Political sense from 1730. Earliest sense in English was the now-obsolete one "examination in a legal court" (mid-15c.).
- To cause evacuation of the bowels.
- The act or process of purging.
- Something that purges, especially a medicinal purgative.