adjective, pur·er, pur·est.

Origin of pure

1250–1300; Middle English pur < Old French < Latin pūrus clean, unmixed, plain, pure
Related formspure·ness, nounhy·per·pure, adjectivehy·per·pure·ly, adverbhy·per·pure·ness, nounsu·per·pure, adjectiveun·pure, adjectiveun·pure·ly, adverbun·pure·ness, noun

Synonyms for pure

Synonym study

1. See clean.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pure

Contemporary Examples of pure

Historical Examples of pure

  • It had the pure and placid expression of the human soul, when it dwells in love and peace.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • A stream of water, pure as crystal, flowed along the path, from the summit to the base.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • All sacredness and sweetness, all that was pure and brave and truthful, seemed to rest in her.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Often he cursed himself as a wretch for paining that pure and noble heart.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • She was like the falling of this starlight, pure, aloof, and strange and gentle.

British Dictionary definitions for pure



not mixed with any extraneous or dissimilar materials, elements, etcpure nitrogen
free from tainting or polluting matter; clean; wholesomepure water
free from moral taint or defilementpure love
(prenominal) (intensifier)pure stupidity; a pure coincidence
(of a subject, etc) studied in its theoretical aspects rather than for its practical applicationspure mathematics; pure science Compare applied
(of a vowel) pronounced with more or less unvarying quality without any glide; monophthongal
(of a consonant) not accompanied by another consonant
of supposedly unmixed racial descent
genetics biology breeding true for one or more characteristics; homozygous
  1. (of a sound) composed of a single frequency without overtones
  2. (of intervals in the system of just intonation) mathematically accurate in respect to the ratio of one frequency to another
Derived Formspureness, noun

Word Origin for pure

C13: from Old French pur, from Latin pūrus unstained
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 pure

c.1300 (late 12c. as a surname, and Old English had purlamb "lamb without a blemish"), "unmixed," also "absolutely, entirely," from Old French pur "pure, simple, absolute, unalloyed," figuratively "simple, sheer, mere" (12c.), from Latin purus "clean, clear; unmixed; unadorned; chaste, undefiled," from PIE root *peue- "to purify, cleanse" (cf. Latin putus "clear, pure;" Sanskrit pavate "purifies, cleanses," putah "pure;" Middle Irish ur "fresh, new;" Old High German fowen "to sift").

Replaced Old English hlutor. Meaning "free from moral corruption" is first recorded mid-14c. In reference to bloodlines, attested from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pure in Medicine




Having a homogeneous or uniform composition; not mixed.
Free from adulterants or impurities.
Produced by self-fertilization or continual inbreeding; homozygous.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.