• (GA) IPA: /ˈpɝɡəˌtɔɹi/
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈpɜːɡətɹi/


  1. (Christianity) Alternative letter-case form of Purgatory#English|Purgatory
  2. Any situation where suffering is endured, particularly as part of a process of redemption.
    • 1605, Nicholas Breton, An Olde Mans Lesson, and a Young Mans Loue, London: Edward White,
      […] many Gods breedeth heathens miseries, many countries trauailers humors, many wiues mens purgatories, and many friends trustes ruine:
    • 1774, John Burgoyne, The Maid of the Oaks, London: T. Becket, Act I, Scene 1, p. 6,
      I laid my rank and fortune at the fair one’s feet, and would have married instantly; but that Oldworth opposed my precipitancy, and insisted upon a probation of six months absence—It has been a purgatory!
    • 1853, Elizabeth Gaskell, Ruth (novel), Chapter 25,
      It might be […] that Ruth had worked her way through the deep purgatory of repentance up to something like purity again; God only knew!
    • 1904, Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (novel), Chapter 10,
      Later came midsummer, with the stifling heat, when the dingy killing beds of Durham’s became a very purgatory; one time, in a single day, three men fell dead from sunstroke.
    • 1997, J. M. Coetzee, Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life, Penguin, Chapter 11, p. 100,
      […] that would mean he would be irrecoverably Afrikaans and would have to spend years in the purgatory of an Afrikaans boarding-school, as all farm-children do, before he would be allowed to come back to the farm.
Translations Adjective


  1. Tending to cleanse; expiatory.
    • 1600, Philemon Holland (translator), Ab Urbe Condita Libri (Livy) Written by Livy, London, Book 41, p. 1103,
      Last of all, the prodigie of Siracusa was expiat by a purgatory sacrifice, by direction from the soothsaiers to what gods, supplications and sacrifice should be made.
    • 1790, Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, London: J. Dodsley, p. 272,
      This purgatory interval is not unfavourable to a faithless representative, who may be as good a canvasser as he was a bad governor.

Proper noun
  1. (Christianity) An intermediate state after death in which some of those ultimately destined for Heaven must first undergo purification prior to entering Heaven.
Synonyms Translations

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