[pyoo r-i-tee]
  1. the condition or quality of being pure; freedom from anything that debases, contaminates, pollutes, etc.: the purity of drinking water.
  2. freedom from any admixture or modifying addition.
  3. ceremonial or ritual cleanness.
  4. freedom from guilt or evil; innocence.
  5. physical chastity; virginity.
  6. freedom from foreign or inappropriate elements; careful correctness: purity of expression.
  7. Optics. the chroma, saturation, or degree of freedom from white of a given color.
  8. cleanness or spotlessness, as of garments.

Origin of purity

1175–1225; < Late Latin pūritās (see pure, -ity); replacing Middle English pur(e)te < Anglo-French < Late Latin, as above
Related formshy·per·pur·i·ty, nounsu·per·pu·ri·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for purities

Historical Examples of purities

  • We let puritan writers write about the purities of this ordinary man.

    A Chesterton Calendar

    G. K. Chesterton

  • Take me out into this new white world that has been born to-day of the ten purities and the ten thousand felicities!

    The Slayer Of souls

    Robert Chambers

  • There are purities so intense that, like fire, they burn those who would handle them, however tenderly.

    In the Wilderness

    Robert Hichens

British Dictionary definitions for purities


  1. the state or quality of being pure
  2. physics a measure of the amount of a single-frequency colour in a mixture of spectral and achromatic colours
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 purities



c.1200, from Old French purete "simple truth," earlier purte (12c., Modern French pureté), from Late Latin puritatem (nominative puritas) "cleanness, pureness," from Latin purus "clean, pure, unmixed; chaste, undefiled" (see pure (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper