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See more synonyms for expurgate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), ex·pur·gat·ed, ex·pur·gat·ing.
  1. to amend by removing words, passages, etc., deemed offensive or objectionable: Most children read an expurgated version of Grimms' fairy tales.
  2. to purge or cleanse of moral offensiveness.
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Origin of expurgate

1615–25; < Latin expurgātus, past participle of expurgāre to clean out. See ex-1, purge, -ate1
Related formsex·pur·ga·tion, nounex·pur·ga·tor, nounun·ex·pur·gat·ed, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for expurgate

Historical Examples

  • There is not the slightest reason to regret this thing or to expurgate it.

    Visions and Revisions

    John Cowper Powys

  • If they were not there, les intellectuels of Athens could not expurgate them.

  • It is admitted that the poets did not in the same way "expurgate" the "Cyclic" epics.

  • Dickens, as we have also stated, consented to expurgate that novel.

  • His principal object was to expurgate it from impurities and to supersede it by what he considered a more edifying text.

British Dictionary definitions for expurgate


  1. (tr) to amend (a book, text, etc) by removing (obscene or offensive sections)
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Derived Formsexpurgation, nounexpurgator, nounexpurgatory (ɛksˈpɜːɡətərɪ, -trɪ) or expurgatorial (ɛkˌspɜːɡəˈtɔːrɪəl), adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin expurgāre to clean out, from purgāre to purify; see purge
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

Word Origin and History for expurgate


1620s, back-formation from expurgation or from Latin expurgatus, past participle of expurgare "to cleanse out, purge, purify" (see expurgation). Related: Expurgated; expurgating. The earlier verb was simply expurge (late 15c.), from Middle French expurger.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

expurgate in Culture



To clean up, remove impurities. An expurgated edition of a book has had offensive words or descriptions changed or removed.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.