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noun, plural im·pu·ri·ties for 2.
  1. the quality or state of being impure.
  2. Often impurities. something that is or makes impure: After the flood the authorities warned against impurities in the drinking water.
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Origin of impurity

1400–50; late Middle English impurite < Latin impūritās. See impure, -ity


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

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British Dictionary definitions for impurities


noun plural -ties
  1. the quality of being impure
  2. an impure thing, constituent, or elementimpurities in the water
  3. electronics a small quantity of an element added to a pure semiconductor crystal to control its electrical conductivitySee also acceptor (def. 2), donor (def. 5)
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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 impurities



mid-15c., "thing which makes or is impure;" c.1500, "fact or quality of being impure," from Middle French impurité, from impur (see impure). Related: Impurities.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper