- to rid of whatever is impure or undesirable; cleanse; purify.
- to rid, clear, or free (usually followed by of or from): to purge a political party of disloyal members.
- to clear of imputed guilt or ritual uncleanliness.
- to clear away or wipe out legally (an offense, accusation, etc.) by atonement or other suitable action.
- to remove by cleansing or purifying (often followed by away, off, or out).
- to clear or empty (the bowels) by causing evacuation.
- to cause evacuation of the bowels of (a person).
- to put to death or otherwise eliminate (undesirable or unwanted members) from a political organization, government, nation, etc.
- to drive off (undesirable gases) from a furnace or stove.
- to free (a furnace or stove) of undesirable gases.
- to become cleansed or purified.
- to undergo or cause purging of the bowels.
- the act or process of purging.
- the removal or elimination of members of a political organization, government, nation, etc., who are considered disloyal or otherwise undesirable.
- something that purges, as a purgative medicine or dose.
Origin of purge
SynonymsSee more synonyms for purge on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for purge
“I thought my reward would be that I could purge my relationship with people in the religious community,” she says.Is the Christian Music Industry Softening on Gays?
Matthew Paul Turner
October 19, 2014
After the initial, gag-inducing swallows, I waited for the purge.Spirit Tripping With Colombian Shamans
August 24, 2014
He simply happened to be in one of those sections of Red Army intelligence which in some purge or other ceased to exist.Iran’s Top Spy Is the Modern-Day Karla, John Le Carré’s Villainous Mastermind
July 2, 2014
Third, the current purge is leaving North Korea even more isolated.North Korean Blood Feud is ‘Richard III’ with Nukes
Gordon G. Chang
December 13, 2013
In true ultra-nationalist form, the party hopes to one day purge the country of all people that are not Greek, as they define it.Golden Dawn Continues Its Message of Hate
May 3, 2013
He did his part to purge the veins of men of the subtle poisons which dwarf them.Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle
H. N. Brailsford
Why, my Masters, it can not as much as purge its own channels.The Book of Khalid
To purge away the crime appears to him in the light of a duty, whoever may be the criminal.Euthyphro
He had been a month in Nantes, sent thither to purge the body politic.The Historical Nights' Entertainment
I dyd it but onely to subdue my flesshe, and to purge my reynes.Shakespeare Jest-Books;
- (tr) to rid (something) of (impure or undesirable elements)
- (tr) to rid (a state, political party, etc) of (dissident or troublesome people)
- to empty (the bowels) by evacuation of faeces
- to cause (a person) to evacuate his bowels
- to clear (a person) of a charge
- to free (oneself) of guilt, as by atonementto purge contempt
- (intr) to be cleansed or purified
- the act or process of purging
- the elimination of opponents or dissidents from a state, political party, etc
- a purgative drug or agent; cathartic
Word Origin and History for purge
c.1300, "clear of a charge or suspicion;" late 14c., "cleanse, clear, purify," from Anglo-French purger, Old French purgier "wash, clean; refine, purify" morally or physically (12c., Modern French purger) and directly from Latin purgare "cleanse, make clean; purify," especially of the body, "free from what is superfluous; remove, clear away," figuratively "refute, justify, vindicate" (also source of Spanish purgar, Italian purgare), from Old Latin purigare, from purus "pure" (see pure) + root of agere "to drive, make" (see act (n.)). Related: Purged; purging.
1560s, "that which purges," from purge (v.). Meaning "a purgative, an act of purging" is from 1590s. Political sense from 1730. Earliest sense in English was the now-obsolete one "examination in a legal court" (mid-15c.).
- To cause evacuation of the bowels.
- The act or process of purging.
- Something that purges, especially a medicinal purgative.