[pyoo r-iz-uh m]
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  1. strict observance of or insistence on purity in language, style, etc.
  2. an instance of this.
  3. (often initial capital letter) Fine Arts. a style of art developed in France in the early 20th century, characterized by the use of simple geometric forms and images evocative of objects produced by machine.

Origin of purism

First recorded in 1795–1805; pure + -ism
Related formspur·ist, nounpu·ris·tic, pu·ris·ti·cal, adjectivepu·ris·ti·cal·ly, adverbhy·per·pur·ist, nounnon·pu·ris·tic, adjectiveun·pu·ris·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for purism

Historical Examples of purism

British Dictionary definitions for purism


  1. insistence on traditional canons of correctness of form or purity of style or content, esp in language, art, or music
Derived Formspurist, adjective, nounpuristic, adjectivepuristically, adverb
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 purism

1803, of language, from French purisme (see purist + -ism). As a movement in art from 1921.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper