v. purged, purg·ing, purg·es
a. To clear (a container or space, for example) of something unclean or unwanted: purge a water pipe of air.
b. To remove or eliminate (unwanted physical matter): purge the air from a water pipe.
a. To rid (a person or thing) of something unwanted: "He had purged his brain of grandiose and debilitating dreams" (Tom Junod).
b. To remove or eliminate (an unwanted element): attempts to purge indecent remarks from company email.
3. Law To clear (a person) of a charge or conviction.
a. To rid (a nation or political party, for example) of people considered undesirable.
b. To get rid of (people considered undesirable).
a. To cause evacuation of (the bowels).
b. To induce evacuation of the bowels in (an individual).
a. To clear (a storage device) of unwanted data.
b. To delete (unwanted data) from a storage device.
1. Medicine To undergo or cause an emptying of the bowels.
2. To vomit or force oneself to vomit, especially as a symptom of an eating disorder.
1. The act or process of purging: a purge of unwanted files.
2. Something that purges, especially a medicinal purgative.
3. An instance of vomiting or of forcing oneself to vomit.
[Middle English purgen, from Old French purgier, from Latin pūrgāre, from pūrus, pure; see peuə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.