To purify something is to remove dirt, chemicals, or anything else that it's contaminated with. You might decide to purify your tap water if it tastes like chlorine.

While scientists purify various chemicals during experiments, the substance that people most often purify is water. Water needs to be treated before it's safe to drink, and cities purify the water they send out to people's houses. You can also use the verb purify in a figurative way, to mean "make ritually or religiously clean or pure." This is the word's earliest meaning, from the Latin root purificare, "to make pure."

Definitions of purify

v remove impurities from, increase the concentration of, and separate through the process of distillation

purify the water”
distill, make pure, sublimate
distil, distill
undergo the process of distillation
rectify, refine
reduce to a fine, unmixed, or pure state; separate from extraneous matter or cleanse from impurities
rid of impurities
Type of:
ameliorate, amend, better, improve, meliorate
to make better

v make pure or free from sin or guilt

“he left the monastery purified
purge, sanctify
spiritualise, spiritualize
purify from the corrupting influences of the world
purify by means of a ritual; also used in post-Communist countries to refer to the political cleansing of former officials
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v become clean or pure or free of guilt and sin

“The hippies came to the ashram in order to purify
Type of:
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

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