Meaning of PURE in English


I. ˈpyu̇(ə)r, -u̇ə adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English pur, from Old French, from Latin purus clean; akin to Sanskrit punāti he cleanses, Middle Irish ūr fresh, green, Welsh ir


a. of physical matter

(1) : unmixed with any other thing : free from admixture : containing no added, substitute, or foreign substance

pure gold

the purest silk obtainable

(2) : free from dust, dirt, or taint : containing nothing that impairs or is hurtful

pure spring water rich in minerals

pure food and abundant rest

(3) : perfectly clear to the eye : optically clear : spotless , stainless

a pure bubbling brook

fresh pure linens


(1) : free from harshness or roughness and in tune — used of a musical tone

(2) : perfect mathematically

pure harmony

a pure interval

— compare tempered

(3) : absolute 11a

c. of a vowel : characterized by no appreciable alteration of articulation or acoustic effect during the utterance : not diphthongized



(1) : being such and no other : sheer , simple

acted so from pure necessity

the purest malice

(2) : being nothing less than : complete , unalloyed

pure folly


(1) : taken in its essential character and apart from relations and applications : concerned basically with theory rather than practice or application : abstract

pure science

pure mechanics

(2) : neither biased by practical considerations nor directed toward the exposition of demonstrable realities or the solution of practical problems

pure literature

especially : nonobjective and to be appraised on formal and technical qualities only — used especially of a work of art



(1) : free from what harms, vitiates, weakens, or pollutes : faultless and uncontaminated : perfect — used of concepts, actions, and other immaterial matters

the pure religion of our fathers

a critic of pure if somewhat narrow taste

(2) : containing nothing that does not properly belong : free from alteration, error, or foreign increment

the pure and original text

spoke a very pure French

b. : free from moral fault or guilt : innocent , guiltless

moved only by the purest feelings

a pure and upright man

c. : marked by chastity : continent

a pure relationship between the sexes


(1) : of pure blood : having an unmixed ancestry

a pure Arab horse

(2) : homozygous

mice pure for the dilution factor

(3) : breeding true for one or more characters

e. obsolete : belonging to a religious group that stresses personal purity and precision of conduct — used usually disparagingly of Puritans and Quakers

f. : ritually clean : suitable for use in holy services

g. : free from empirical elements : a priori

pure intuition

pure ego

4. chiefly dialect : having good health and spirits : fine


absolute , simple , sheer : these words are alike in stressing the notion that the essential character of a thing, unmixed, unalleviated, and undiminished, is being spoken of. pure may stress lack of intermixture, adulterating, or obscuring the essence of a matter

the founders of American political democracy were not so naïvely devoted to pure theory that they were unaware of the necessity of cultural conditions for the successful working of democratic forms — John Dewey

a wider opening of the hospitable American doors to the oppressed of Europe seemed to the divines and social reformers an exercise of pure magnanimity — Roger Burlingame

absolute may further emphasize lack of admixture or stress lack of dependence, relationship, or reservation

for Christianity aims at nothing less than absolute truth — W.R.Inge

the obstinacy, the ferocity, the treachery of the aristocracy, had compelled Caesar to crush them; and the more desperate their struggles the more absolute the necessity became — J.A.Froude

it was horrid, that pitiful, forlorn cry of pain and of absolute despair coming from such a giant — Liam O'Flaherty

simple stresses isolation from complicating or obscuring factors; it may indicate that further resolution or analysis is unnecessary or impossible

the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of the truth — that error and truth are simple opposites — H.L.Mencken

the simple truth, so hard to come by anywhere, implies, of course, a lucid statement of it — H.V.Gregory

sheer has more intensifying force and less suggestion of shades of meaning than others in this group; it may stress the palpable revelation or obvious display of whatever is being spoken of

the “Ancient Mariner,” … is a work of sheer imagination — J.L.Lowes

is there anything that, for sheer simplicity of pathos … can be said to equal or even approach the last act of Christ's passion — Oscar Wilde

the sheer dynamism of the totalitarian promise acquires a glistening certainty which few men can stand up against — A.M.Schlesinger b. 1917

Synonym: see in addition chaste .

II. adverb

Etymology: Middle English pur, from pur, adjective

: purely: as

a. : without admixture — usually used in combination with an adjective

a pure -white linen

pure -silk shirtings

b. chiefly dialect : to a notable degree : exceedingly , thoroughly

pure miserable with a toothache

most of the track was pure muddy

III. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English puren, from pur, adjective

1. obsolete : purify , refine

2. : puer

IV. noun

( -s )

Etymology: in sense 1, from pure (I) ; in sense 2, from pure (III)


a. : purity

b. : something that is pure

2. : puer

V. ˈpür


variant of poor

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.