Dictionary: PURG'A-TO-RY – PU'RI-TAN-ISM

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PURG'A-TO-RY, a. [L. purgatorius, from purgo, to purge.]

Tending to cleanse; cleansing; expiatory. – Burke.

PURG'A-TO-RY, n. [Fr. purgatoire.]

Among Romanists, a supposed place or state after death, in which the souls of persons are purified, or in which they expiate such offenses committed in this life, as do not merit eternal damnation. After this purgation from the impurities of sin, the souls are supposed to be received into heaven. – Encyc. Stillingfleet.


A medicine that evacuates the intestines; a cathartic. – Arbuthnot.

PURGE, v.i.

  1. To become pure by clarification.
  2. To have frequent or preternatural evacuations from the intestines, by means of a carthartic.

PURGE, v.t. [purj; L. purgo; Fr. purger; Sp. purgar; It. purgare; probably a derivative from the root of pure.]

  1. To cleanse or purify by separating and carrying off whatever is impure, heterogeneous, foreign or superfluous; as, to purge the body by evacuation; to purge the Augean stable. It is followed by away, of, or off. We say, to purge away or to purge off filth, and to purge a liquor of its scum.
  2. To clear from guilt or moral defilement; as, to purge one of guilt or crime; to purge away sin. Purge away our sins, for thy name's sake. – Ps. lxxix. Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean. – Ps. li.
  3. To clear from accusation or the charge of a crime, as in ordeal.
  4. To remove what is offensive; to sweep away impurities. – Ezek. xx.
  5. To clarify; to defecate; as liquors.

PURG'ED, pp.

Purified; cleansed; evacuated.


  1. A person or thing that purges or cleanses.
  2. A cathartic.


A diarrhea or dysentery; preternatural evacuation of the intestines; looseness of bowels. [An inappropriate use of the word.]

PURG'ING, ppr.

Cleansing; purifying; carrying off impurities or superfluous matter.

PU-RI-FI-CA'TION, n. [Fr. from L. purificatio. See Purify.]

  1. The act of purifying; the act or operation of separating and removing from any thing that which is heterogeneous or foreign to it; as, the purification of liquors or of metals. – Boyle.
  2. In religion, the act or operation of cleansing ceremonially, by removing any pollution or defilement. Purification by washing or by other means, was common to the Hebrews and to pagans. The Mohammedans use purification as a preparation for devotion. – 2 Chron. xxx. Esth. ii. Luke ii. Encyc.
  3. A cleansing from guilt or the pollution of sin; the extinction of sinful desires, appetites and inclinations.


Having power to purify; tending to cleanse.

PU'RI-FI-ED, pp.

Made pure and clear; freed from pollution ceremonially.

PU'RI-FI-ER, n. [from purify.]

That which purifies or cleanses; a cleanser; a refiner. Fire was held by the ancients to be an excellent purifier.

PU'RI-FORM, a. [L. pus, puris and form.]

Like pus; in the form of pus. – Med. Repos.

PU'RI-FY, v.i.

To grow or become pure or clear. Liquors will gradually purify. – Burnet.

PU'RI-FY, v.t. [Fr. purifier; L. purifico; purus, pure, and facio, to make.]

  1. To make pure or clear; to free from extraneous admixture; as, to purify liquors or metals; to purify the blood; to purify the air.
  2. To free from pollution ceremonially; to remove whatever renders unclean and unfit for sacred services. Purify yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day purify all your raiment. – Num. xxxi.
  3. To free from guilt or the defilement of sin; as, to purify the heart. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. – Tit. ii.
  4. To clear from improprieties or barbarisms; as, to purify a language. – Sprat.


The act or operation of making pure, or of cleansing from extraneous matter or from pollution.

PU'RI-FY-ING, ppr.

Removing foreign or heterogeneous matter; cleansing from pollution; fining; making clear.

PU'RIM, n.

Among the Jews, the feast of lots, instituted to commemorate their deliverance from the machinations of Haman. – Esth. ix.

PU'RIST, n. [Fr. puriste.]

One excessively nice in the use of words. – Chesterfield. Johnson.


Pertaining to the puritans, or dissenters from the church of England. – Sanderson.

PU'RI-TAN, n. [from pure.]

A dissenter from the Church of England. The puritans were so called in derision, on account of their professing to follow the pure word of God, in opposition to all traditions and human constitutions. – Encyc. Hume gives this name to three parties; the political puritans, who maintained the highest principles of civil liberty; the puritans in discipline, who were averse to the ceremonies and government of the episcopal church; and the doctrinal puritans, who rigidly defended the speculative system of the first reformers.


Pertaining to the puritans or their doctrines and practice; exact; rigid; as, puritanical notions or opinions; puritanical manners.


With the exact or rigid notions or manners of the Puritans.


The notions or practice of puritans. – Mountague.