adjective (purer; purest) Etymology: Middle English pur, from Anglo-French, from Latin purus; akin to Old High German fowen to sift, Sanskrit punāti he cleanses, Middle Irish úr fresh, new Date: 14th century 1. a. (1) unmixed with any other matter <
pure gold
(2) free from dust, dirt, or taint <
pure springwater
(3) spotless, stainless b. free from harshness or roughness and being in tune — used of a musical tone c. of a vowel characterized by no appreciable alteration of articulation during utterance 2. a. being thus and no other ; sheer, unmitigated <
pure folly
b. (1) abstract, theoretical <
pure research
(2) a priori <
pure mechanics
c. not directed toward exposition of reality or solution of practical problems <
pure literature
d. being nonobjective and to be appraised on formal and technical qualities only <
pure form
3. a. (1) free from what vitiates, weakens, or pollutes (2) containing nothing that does not properly belong b. free from moral fault or guilt c. marked by chastity ; continent d. (1) of pure blood and unmixed ancestry (2) homozygous in and breeding true for one or more characters e. ritually clean 4. having exactly the talents or skills needed for a particular role <
a pure shooter in basketball
Synonyms: see chastepureness noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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