pure S3 W3 /pjʊə $ pjʊr/ BrE AmE adjective
[ Word Family: noun : ↑ purification , ↑ purist , ↑ purity ≠ ↑ impurity , ↑ purifier ; verb : ↑ purify ; adverb : ↑ purely ; adjective : ↑ pure ≠ ↑ impure ]
[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: pur , from Latin purus ]
1 . NOT MIXED [usually before noun] a pure substance or material is not mixed with anything OPP impure
pure silk/cotton/wool etc
pure wool blankets
rings made of pure gold
Our beef patties are 100% pure.
2 . COMPLETE [only before noun] complete and total SYN sheer :
a work of pure genius
a smile of pure joy
My mother’s life was pure hell.
pure chance/luck/coincidence etc
By pure chance, I met Sir Malcolm that morning.
The chairman dismissed the report as pure speculation.
3 . CLEAN clean and not containing anything harmful OPP impure :
We had trouble finding a pure water supply.
Up here the air was purer.
4 . pure and simple used to emphasize that there is only one thing involved or worth considering:
He wanted revenge, pure and simple.
5 . MORALLY GOOD literary without any sexual experience or evil thoughts OPP impure :
a pure young girl
They’re too pure and innocent to know what’s really going on.
6 . COLOUR OR SOUND very clear and beautiful:
a cloudless sky of the purest blue
Her voice, clear and pure, soared up to the roof.
7 . TYPICAL [only before noun] typical of a particular style:
His music is pure New York.
8 . BREED/RACE bred from only one group or race:
My husband is pure Japanese and traces his family back 800 years.
The Highland is the oldest and purest breed of cattle in Britain.
9 . ART OR STUDY [usually before noun] done according to an accepted standard or pattern:
Gothic architecture in its purest form
10 . pure science/maths etc work in science etc that increases our knowledge of the subject rather than using it for practical purposes
11 . be as pure as the driven snow to be morally perfect – used humorously to say someone is not like this at all
⇨ ↑ purely
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
▪ pure chance/luck
He had discovered the truth by pure chance.
▪ pure coincidence
It was pure coincidence that I arrived on the same plane.
▪ pure joy/pleasure/delight
Lucinda flashed him a smile of pure joy.
▪ pure hatred
She remembered the look of pure hatred in his eyes.
▪ pure speculation (=a guess that is not based on any facts)
Most of what you hear is pure speculation.
▪ pure fantasy/fiction (=something that is not true at all)
He dismissed the allegations as ‘pure fantasy’.
▪ pure genius
That excuse you came up with was a flash of pure genius.
▪ pure hell
He has described this period as ‘pure hell’.