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purify

[pyoo r-uh-fahy] /ˈpyʊər əˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), purified, purifying.
1.
to make pure; free from anything that debases, pollutes, adulterates, or contaminates:
to purify metals.
2.
to free from foreign, extraneous, or objectionable elements:
to purify a language.
3.
to free from guilt or evil.
4.
to clear or purge (usually followed by of or from).
5.
to make clean for ceremonial or ritual use.
verb (used without object), purified, purifying.
6.
to become pure.
Origin of purify
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English purifien < Middle French purifier < Latin pūrificāre. See pure, -ify
Related forms
purification, noun
purificatory
[pyoo-rif-i-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /pyʊˈrɪf ɪ kəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
adjective
purifier, noun
nonpurification, noun
nonpurifying, adjective
repurification, noun
repurify, verb, repurified, repurifying.
self-purifying, adjective
unpurified, adjective
unpurifying, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for purify
Contemporary Examples
  • "We have an Islamic government, an interior ministry trying to purify its image, and a conservative masculine society," he says.

  • “I picture scientists finding new ways to purify water, or diagnose disease,” Sindi says.

  • From just past the city limits came Ernest Hemingway to purify the American language and create another heroic legend.

    Obamaville Don Rose November 6, 2008
Historical Examples
  • Germany, he said, had been divinely ordained to conquer the world and purify it.

  • Then they strewed the grass on the sand, to purify it from taint of earth, and then they began.

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • That your error may not increase, I will endeavour to purify your soul.'

    Laws Plato
  • The legislator must purify them, and if he be not a despot he will find this task to be a difficult one.

    Laws Plato
  • In our case, however, we shall only need to purify the streams before they meet.

    Laws Plato
  • Purity and impurity belong to oneself; no one can purify another.

    History of Religion

    Allan Menzies
  • It is an exercise, also, which tends at once to elevate and to purify the mind.

British Dictionary definitions for purify

purify

/ˈpjʊərɪˌfaɪ/
verb -fies, -fying, -fied
1.
to free (something) of extraneous, contaminating, or debasing matter
2.
(transitive) to free (a person, etc) from sin or guilt
3.
(transitive) to make clean, as in a ritual, esp the churching of women after childbirth
Derived Forms
purification, noun
purificatory (ˈpjʊərɪfɪˌkeɪtərɪ) adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French purifier, from Late Latin pūrificāre to cleanse, from pūrus pure + facere to make
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for purify
v.

early 14c., "free from spiritual pollution," from Old French purefier "purify, cleanse, refine" (12c.), from Latin purificare "to make pure," from purus "pure" (see pure) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Meaning "free from extraneous matter" is recorded from mid-15c. Related: Purified; purifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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