adj. pur·er, pur·est
a. Having a homogeneous or uniform composition; not mixed: pure oxygen.
b. Free of dirt, pollutants, infectious agents, or other unwanted elements: pure water.
c. Containing nothing inappropriate or extraneous: a pure style of piano playing.
2. Complete; utter: pure folly.
a. Having no moral failing or guilt: "I felt pure and sweet as a new baby" (Sylvia Plath).
b. Chaste; virgin.
4. Of unmixed blood or ancestry.
5. Genetics Produced by self-fertilization or continual inbreeding; homozygous: a pure line.
6. Music Free from discordant qualities: pure tones.
7. Linguistics Articulated with a single unchanging speech sound; monophthongal: a pure vowel.
8. Theoretical; not applied: pure science.
9. Philosophy Free of empirical elements: pure reason.
[Middle English pur, from Old French, from Latin pūrus; see peuə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus