• (RP) IPA: /ˈpjʊə/, /ˈpjɔː/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈpjʊɹ/, /ˈpjɔɹ/
  • (cure-fir merger, rhotic) IPA: /ˈpjɝ/
  • (cure-fir merger, non-rhotic) IPA: /ˈpjɜː/
  • (America)

pure (comparative purer, superlative purest)

  1. Free of flaws or imperfections; unsullied.
    • 18, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 7, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify ), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323 ↗:
  2. Free of foreign material or pollutants.
    • A guinea is pure gold if it has in it no alloy.
  3. Free of immoral behavior or qualities; clean.
    • circa 1530 William Tyndale (translator), Bible, 1 Timothy, 5:22,
      Laye hondes sodely[suddenly] on no man nether be partaker of other mes[men's] synnes: kepe thy silfe pure.
  4. Mere; that and that only.
    That idea is pure madness!
  5. (of a branch of science) Done for its own sake instead of serving another branch of science.
  6. (phonetics) Of a single, simple sound or tone; said of some vowels and the unaspirated consonants.
  7. (of sound) Without harmonics or overtones; not harsh or discordant.
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations
  • French: pur
  • German: rein, (please verify) bloß (de), (please verify) schier (de)
  • Italian: puro
  • Portuguese: puro
  • Russian: чи́стый
  • Spanish: puro
Translations Translations Translations Translations Adverb

pure (not comparable)

  1. (Liverpool, Scottish) to a great extent or degree; extremely; exceedingly.
    You’re pure busy.
    • 1996, Trainspotting (film)
      I just get pure shy with the interview cats.
  • Portuguese: bem

pure (pures, present participle puring; past and past participle pured)

  1. (golf) to hit (the ball) completely cleanly and accurately
    Tiger Woods pured his first drive straight down the middle of the fairway.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To cleanse; to refine.


  1. One who, or that which, is pure.
    • 1845, The Lancet, page 187:
      ... the establishment of an inferior College, and the consequent connexion of the many thousands of British practitioners in medicine and surgery with a subordinate institution, and one that should be subservient to the government of the pures.
    • circa 1870 D. K. Gavan, Rocky Road to Dublin:
      Took a drop of the pure, to keep my spirits from sinking, […]
    • 1998, Christopher Leigh Connery, The Empire of the Text: Writing and Authority in Early Imperial China, Rowman & Littlefield (ISBN 9780847687398), page 30:
      All interpretive frames will impose their categories on the object of historical analysis, and I am not proposing that this narrative of the "pures"; be rejected in favor of some phantasmatic framework that claims to derive more purely from the sources themselves. I will show in chapter 3 that, since the "pures" possibly did not even exist […]
  • (RP) IPA: /pjʊə/
  • (America) IPA: /pjʊɚ/

pure (uncountable)

  1. Alternative form of puer
    • 1851, H. Mayhew, London Labour and the London poor, vII. 142/1:
      […] Dogs'-dung is called ‘Pure’, from its cleansing and purifying properties.
    • 2001, Wendy Lawton, The Tinker's Daughter, ch. 8:
      Mary smelled the rancid odor of the tannery on the right side of the road. […]
      "What is that, Mary?" Jake asked.
      "'Tis a bag for collecting pure. That is going to be your job, Jake. You are to collect pure."
      "Pure? What is pure?"
      "Pure is another word for dung," Mary answered.
    • 2013, Terry Pratchett, Raising Steam, p. 28:
      ... surely there was something better for him than chasing the pure (footnote: A term, technically speaking, for dog muck, much prized by the tanneries. ) ...

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