Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having a homogeneous or uniform composition; not mixed: pure oxygen.
  • adj. Free from adulterants or impurities: pure chocolate.
  • adj. Free of dirt, defilement, or pollution: "A memory without blot or contamination must be . . . an inexhaustible source of pure refreshment” ( Charlotte Brontë).
  • adj. Free of foreign elements.
  • adj. Containing nothing inappropriate or extraneous: a pure literary style.
  • adj. Complete; utter: pure folly.
  • adj. Having no faults; sinless: "I felt pure and sweet as a new baby” ( Sylvia Plath).
  • adj. Chaste; virgin.
  • adj. Of unmixed blood or ancestry.
  • adj. Genetics Produced by self-fertilization or continual inbreeding; homozygous: a pure line.
  • adj. Music Free from discordant qualities: pure tones.
  • adj. Linguistics Articulated with a single unchanging speech sound; monophthongal: a pure vowel.
  • adj. Theoretical: pure science.
  • adj. Philosophy Free of empirical elements: pure reason.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. free of flaws or imperfections; unsullied
  • adj. free of foreign material or pollutants
  • adj. free of immoral behavior or qualities; clean
  • adj. of a branch of science, done for its own sake instead of serving another branch of science.
  • adj. Of a single, simple sound or tone; said of some vowels and the unaspirated consonants.
  • adv. to a great extent or degree; extremely; exceedingly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Separate from all heterogeneous or extraneous matter; free from mixture or combination; clean; mere; simple; unmixed
  • adj. Free from moral defilement or quilt; hence, innocent; guileless; chaste; -- applied to persons.
  • adj. Free from that which harms, vitiates, weakens, or pollutes; genuine; real; perfect; -- applied to things and actions.
  • adj. Ritually clean; fitted for holy services.
  • adj. Of a single, simple sound or tone; -- said of some vowels and the unaspirated consonants.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Free from extraneous matter; separate from matter of another kind; free from mixture; unmixed; clear; especially, free from matter that impairs or pollutes: Said of physical substances.
  • Bare; mere; sheer; absolute; very: as, it was done out of pure spite; a pure villain.
  • Sole; only.
  • Whole; thorough; complete.
  • Fine; nice.
  • Figuratively, free from mixture with things of another kind; homogeneous.
  • Free from mixture with that which contaminates, stains, defiles, or blemishes.
  • Ritually or ceremonially clean; unpolluted.
  • Free from that which vitiates, pollutes, or degrades; unadulterated; genuine; stainless; sincere: said of thoughts, actions, motives, etc.
  • In music: Of intervals, intonation, and harmony, mathematically correct or perfect: opposed to tempered.
  • Of tones, without discordant quality.
  • Of style of composition or of a particular work, correct; regular; finished.
  • In metaphysics, of the nature of form; unmateriate; in the Kantian terminology, not depending on experience; non-sensuous.
  • Logic based solely on a priori principles; a canon of the understanding and of the reason in reference to the formal element.
  • Synonyms Uncorrupted, incorrupt, unsullied, untainted, untarnished, unstained, clean, fair, unspotted, unpolluted, undefiled, immaculate, guiltless, holy.
  • n. Purity.
  • n. In tanning, a bate of dog's dung, used for counteracting the action of the lime on the skins in the process of unhairing.
  • Quite; very; absolutely; perfectly.
  • To purify; cleanse; refine.
  • Specifically In tanning, to cleanse with a bate of dog's dung.
  • In biology, having germ-cells of only one kind and like those of a parent. See the extract.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of color) being chromatically pure; not diluted with white or grey or black
  • adj. free from discordant qualities
  • adj. concerned with theory and data rather than practice; opposed to applied
  • adj. in a state of sexual virginity
  • adj. free of extraneous elements of any kind
  • adj. (used of persons or behaviors) having no faults; sinless
  • adj. without qualification; used informally as (often pejorative) intensifiers

Etymologies

Middle English pur, from Old French, from Latin pūrus; see peuə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English pur, from Old French pur, from Latin purus ("clean, free from dirt or filth, unmixed, plain"), from Proto-Indo-European *peu-, *pu- (“to cleanse, purify”). Displaced native Middle English lutter ("pure, clear, sincere") (from Old English hlūtor, hluttor), Middle English skere ("pure, sheer, clear") (from Old English scǣre and Old Norse skǣr), Middle English schir ("clear, pure") (from Old English scīr), Middle English smete, smeate ("pure, refined") (from Old English smǣte; compare Old English mǣre ("pure")). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The most effective way to purify the thoughts is to divert them to a pure and strictly non-sexual subject -- e.g., _pure mathematics_.

    The Biology, Physiology and Sociology of Reproduction Also Sexual Hygiene with Special Reference to the Male

  • When trustees and patrons realize that pure air is absolutely essential to health, and that their children are being slowly poisoned by the foul air of school rooms, then they will construct our halls of learning with a due regard for the laws of hygiene, and students will not droop under their tasks on account of the absence of Nature's most bountiful gift, _pure air_.

    The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English or, Medicine Simplified, 54th ed., One Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand

  • [Inamori Mika @ Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight] 1位 766票 ホロ@狼と香辛料 [Horo @ Spice and Wolf] 2位 217票 咲野明日夏@キミキス pure rouge [Sakino Asuka @ Kimikiss ~pure rouge] 3位 136票 乱崎月香@狂乱家族日記 [Midarezaki Gekka @ Kyouran Kazoku Nikki]

    Kurogane's Anime Blog

  • In fact, I use the term "pure shooter" very carefully.

    SI.com

  • All the big brewers were blasting the word pure in their advertising, spending fortunes on two-page spreads so they could write the word in larger type than their competition.

    The Answer

  • The phrase "pure shooter" has always struck me as slightly damning, suggesting a player who can whip anyone's butt in H-O-R-S-E might not be a complete player, and, further, might not be the guy you want to have the ball in crunch time.

    SI.com

  • Mr. Cameron, returning to London on Tuesday after breaking off his summer vacation in Italy, condemned what he called "pure criminality."

    London Sweeps Up as Riots Simmer to North

  • She had the second night of what she described as pure ectasy.

    Dr. Peter Rost: My Cheating Friend - 3

  • His peers love working with him because he's what they call a pure musician — someone who plays for the joy of it, not the money.

    Guillermo Klein And His Band Of Devotees

  • The council does say, however, it is unlikely that China will become what it calls a pure competitor of the United States military any time in the near future.

    CNN Transcript Apr 11, 2007

Comments

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  • That pound of pure strikes a note. In the 19th century London, book binders used dog turds to dress leather and referred to this dressing as pure. They bought it from poor folk who went around London collecting the turds by the bucket and sold the turds to the binders by the pound.
    Fully discussed in Mayhew's London Labour & London Poor.

    November 5, 2012

  • Pure dog turds.

    Arrggh. Earworm.

    February 3, 2010

  • "'Be glad I'm not tanning hides,' she advised him. 'Ian says the Indian women use dog turds for that.'

    'So do European tanners; they just call the stuff "pure."'

    'Pure what?'

    'Pure dog turds, I suppose,' he said with a shrug. 'How's it going?'"
    —Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (New York: Bantam Dell, 2005), 698

    February 3, 2010

  • See also pure-finder for a definition that WordNet does not include here.

    October 4, 2008