Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To free from impurities; purify.
  • transitive v. To remove (impurities and other elements) by or as if by cleansing.
  • transitive v. To rid of sin, guilt, or defilement.
  • transitive v. Law To clear (a person) of a charge or an imputation. Often used with respect to contempt of court.
  • transitive v. To rid (a nation or political party, for example) of people considered undesirable.
  • transitive v. To get rid of (people considered undesirable). See Synonyms at eliminate.
  • transitive v. Medicine To cause evacuation of (the bowels).
  • transitive v. Medicine To induce evacuation of the bowels in (an individual).
  • intransitive v. To become pure or clean.
  • intransitive v. Medicine To undergo or cause an emptying of the bowels.
  • n. The act or process of purging.
  • n. Something that purges, especially a medicinal purgative.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An act of purging
  • n. An evacuation of the bowels or a vomiting.
  • n. A cleansing of pipes.
  • n. A forcible removal of people from political activity.
  • n. That which purges; especially, a medicine that evacuates the intestines; a cathartic.
  • v. to clean thoroughly; to cleanse; to rid of impurities
  • v. to free from sin, guilt, or the burden or responsibility of misdeeds
  • v. to void the bowels; to vomit.
  • v. to clear of a charge, suspicion, or imputation

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of purging.
  • n. That which purges; especially, a medicine that evacuates the intestines; a cathartic.
  • intransitive v. To become pure, as by clarification.
  • intransitive v. To have or produce frequent evacuations from the intestines, as by means of a cathartic.
  • transitive v. To cleanse, clear, or purify by separating and carrying off whatever is impure, heterogeneous, foreign, or superfluous.
  • transitive v. To operate on as, or by means of, a cathartic medicine, or in a similar manner.
  • transitive v. To clarify; to defecate, as liquors.
  • transitive v. To clear of sediment, as a boiler, or of air, as a steam pipe, by driving off or permitting escape.
  • transitive v. To clear from guilt, or from moral or ceremonial defilement.
  • transitive v. To clear from accusation, or the charge of a crime or misdemeanor, as by oath or in ordeal.
  • transitive v. To remove in cleansing; to deterge; to wash away; -- often followed by away.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cleanse or purify by separating and carrying off whatever is impure, heterogeneous, foreign, or superfluous; cleanse; clean, or clean out.
  • To remove by some cleansing or purifying process or operation; clear or wash away: often followed by away and off.
  • To clear from moral defilement or guilt: in this and next sense often followed by of or from.
  • To clear from accusation of a crime, as by ordeal, or from charge of contempt, as by oath showing that there was no wrong intent; free from taint or suspicion of crime.
  • To clarify; defecate, as liquors.
  • To operate on by or as by means of a cathartic.
  • To void.
  • To trim.
  • To become pure by clarification.
  • To take a purge; produce evacuations from the intestines by means of a cathartic.
  • To be cleansed or purified by the escape of certain gases, as a lake or river. See purging, 2.
  • To vomit.
  • n. The act of purging; purgation.
  • n. Anything that purges; specifically, a medicine that evacuates the intestines; a cathartic.
  • n. A plant of Virginia, probably Trinsteum perfoliatum, the root of which was used as a purgative by the aborigines.

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

  • v. clear of a charge
  • v. make pure or free from sin or guilt
  • v. excrete or evacuate (someone's bowels or body)
  • n. the act of clearing yourself (or another) from some stigma or charge
  • n. an act of removing by cleansing; ridding of sediment or other undesired elements
  • v. eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth
  • n. an abrupt or sudden removal of a person or group from an organization or place
  • v. oust politically
  • v. rid of impurities
  • v. rinse, clean, or empty with a liquid

Etymologies

Middle English purgen, from Old French purgier, from Latin pūrgāre, from pūrus, pure; see peuə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English purgen, from Old French purger, from Latin purgare ("make pure, cleanse"), from purus ("clean, pure") + agere ("to make, do"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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    June 13, 2012