Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[pyoo r-iz-uh m] /ˈpyʊər ɪz əm/
strict observance of or insistence on purity in language, style, etc.
an instance of this.
(often initial capital letter) Fine Arts. a style of art developed in France in the early 20th century, characterized by the use of simple geometric forms and images evocative of objects produced by machine.
Origin of purism
First recorded in 1795-1805; pure + -ism
Related forms
purist, noun
puristic, puristical, adjective
puristically, adverb
hyperpurist, noun
nonpuristic, adjective
unpuristic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for purist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the end, indeed, even so ardent a purist as Richard Grant White adopted it, as he did to placate.

    The American Language Henry L. Mencken
  • Then Grey exploded again, and the purist looked from one to the other.

    Lines in Pleasant Places William Senior
  • A policeman is now and then called, by some purist or stickler for etiquette, an esclopnam.

    The Slang Dictionary John Camden Hotten
  • But to do without for the sake of principle was ever rapture to the purist.

    The Madigans Miriam Michelson
  • It has been said that on occasion his work contained passages a purist would not have passed.

British Dictionary definitions for purist


insistence on traditional canons of correctness of form or purity of style or content, esp in language, art, or music
Derived Forms
purist, adjective, noun
puristic, adjective
puristically, adverb
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for purist

"stickler for purity," 1706, from pure + -ist; on model of French puriste (1580s), originally in reference to speech.



1803, of language, from French purisme (see purist + -ism). As a movement in art from 1921.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for purism

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for purist

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for purist