- (in the belief of Roman Catholics and others) a condition or place in which the souls of those dying penitent are purified from venial sins, or undergo the temporal punishment that, after the guilt of mortal sin has been remitted, still remains to be endured by the sinner.
- (initial capital letter, italics) Italian Pur·ga·to·rio [poor-gah-taw-ryaw] /ˌpur gɑˈtɔ ryɔ/. the second part of Dante's Divine Comedy, in which the repentant sinners are depicted.Compare inferno(def 3), paradise(def 7).
- any condition or place of temporary punishment, suffering, expiation, or the like.
- serving to cleanse, purify, or expiate.
Origin of purgatory
Related Words for purgatorylimbo, abyss, underworld, suffering, perdition, pit, Hades, Gehenna, Abaddon
Examples from the Web for purgatory
Contemporary Examples of purgatory
According to the playbill, the answer is neither heaven nor hell (nor purgatory).The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson (And Tolstoy and Dickens)
October 26, 2014
Summer got us through our yearly Hell and Purgatory and led us to Heaven in June.Our Doomed Love Affair with Summer
P. J. O’Rourke
August 30, 2014
I wondered how many centuries of purgatory it would take to atone for such a sin.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
The survivors of the wreck face a different kind of purgatory.Italian Shipwreck Survivors to be Prosecuted and Fined
Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 7, 2013
“My brother and sister-in-law live in purgatory because they have no end and they are looking for the truth,” Cameron testified.Madeleine McCann Libel Case Resumes in Portugal
Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 4, 2013
Historical Examples of purgatory
And now his purgatory was at an end, and of a sudden the gates of joy were open.Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
It's the wail of a lost spirit, loosed temporarily from the horrors of purgatory.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
He declared that he was in purgatory for certain unexpatiated sins.
Whence he concludes that it is better at once to deny absolutely that there is any purgatory.
It will take a lot of holy water to save her from purgatory.Secret Memoirs: The Story of Louise, Crown Princess
Henry W. Fischer
- mainly RC Church a state or place in which the souls of those who have died in a state of grace are believed to undergo a limited amount of suffering to expiate their venial sins and become purified of the remaining effects of mortal sin
- a place or condition of suffering or torment, esp one that is temporary
Word Origin for purgatory
c.1200, from Old French purgatore and directly from Medieval Latin purgatorium (St. Bernard, early 12c.), in Latin, "means of cleansing," noun use of neuter of purgatorius (adj.) "purging, cleansing," from purgat-, past participle stem of Latin purgare (see purge (v.)). Figurative use from late 14c.
In the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, the condition of souls of the dead who die with some punishment (though not damnation) due them for their sins. Purgatory is conceived as a condition of suffering and purification that leads to union with God in heaven. Purgatory is not mentioned in the Bible (see also Bible); Catholic authorities defend the teaching on purgatory by arguing that prayer for the dead is an ancient practice of Christianity and that this practice assumes that the dead can be in a state of suffering — a state that the living can improve by their prayers.