Definitions

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

  • n. The quality or condition of being pure.
  • n. A quantitative assessment of homogeneity or uniformity.
  • n. Freedom from sin or guilt; innocence; chastity: "Teach your children . . . the belief in purity of body, mind and soul” ( Emmeline Pankhurst).
  • n. The absence in speech or writing of slang or other elements deemed inappropriate to good style.
  • n. The degree to which a color is free from being mixed with other colors.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state or degree of being pure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. freedom from foreign admixture or deleterious matter.
  • n. Cleanness; freedom from foulness or dirt.
  • n. Freedom from guilt or the defilement of sin; innocence; chastity.
  • n. Freedom from any sinister or improper motives or views.
  • n. Freedom from foreign idioms, or from barbarous or improper words or phrases.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The condition or quality of being pure.
  • n. Cleanness; freedom from foulness or dirt: as, the purity of a garment.
  • n. Freedom from guilt or the defilement of sin; innocence: as, purity of heart or life.
  • n. Freedom from lust, or moral contamination by illicit sexual connection; chastity.
  • n. Freedom from sinister or improper views; sincerity: as, purity of motives or designs.
  • n. Freedom from foreign idioms, or from barbarous or improper words or phrases: as, purity of style or language.
  • n. Synonyms and Immaculateness, guilelessness, honesty, integrity, virtue, modesty.
  • n. Purity, Propriety, Precision. As a quality of style, “Purity … relates to three things, viz. the form of words [etymology], the construction of words in continuous discourse [syntax], and the meaning of words and phrases [lexicography].” (A. Phelps, Eng. Style, p. 9.) “Propriety … relates to the signification of language as fixed by usage.” (A. Phelps, Eng. Style, p. 79.) “The offences against the usage of the English language are … improprieties, words or phrases used in a sense not English.” (A. S. Hill, Rhet., p. 19.) “An author's diction is pure when he uses such words only as belong to the idiom of the language, in opposition to words that are foreign, obsolete, newly coined, or without proper authority. … A violation of purity is called a barbarism. … But another question arises. … Is the word used correctly in the sentence in which it occurs? … A writer who fails in this respect offends against propriety.” (J. S. Hart, Comp. and Rhet., pp. 68, 74.) “Precision includes all that is essential to the expression of no more, no less, and no other than the meaning which the writer purposes to express.”
  • n. In biology, the state or condition, with respect to reproduction, of an organism that is developed from a fertilized egg formed by the union of two identical germ-cells.

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

  • n. a woman's virtue or chastity
  • n. being undiluted or unmixed with extraneous material
  • n. the state of being unsullied by sin or moral wrong; lacking a knowledge of evil

Etymologies

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