Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: pur, from Latin purus


Related topics: Colours
pure S3 W3

not mixed

[usually before noun] a pure substance or material is not mixed with anything [≠ impure]
pure silk/cotton/wool etc
pure wool blankets
rings made of pure gold
Our beef patties are 100% pure.


[only before noun] complete and total [= sheer]:
a work of pure genius
a smile of pure joy
My mother's life was pure hell.
pure chance/luck/coincidence etc
By pure chance, I met Sir Malcolm that morning.
The chairman dismissed the report as pure speculation.


clean and not containing anything harmful [≠ impure]:
We had trouble finding a pure water supply.
Up here the air was purer.

pure and simple

used to emphasize that there is only one thing involved or worth considering:
He wanted revenge, pure and simple.

morally good

literary without any sexual experience or evil thoughts [≠ impure]:
a pure young girl
They're too pure and innocent to know what's really going on.

colour or sound

CC very clear and beautiful:
a cloudless sky of the purest blue
Her voice, clear and pure, soared up to the roof.


[only before noun] typical of a particular style:
His music is pure New York.


bred from only one group or race:
My husband is pure Japanese and traces his family back 800 years.
The Highland is the oldest and purest breed of cattle in Britain.

art or study

[usually before noun]A done according to an accepted standard or pattern:
Gothic architecture in its purest form

pure science/maths etc

H work in science etc that increases our knowledge of the subject rather than using it for practical purposes

be as pure as the driven snow

to be morally perfect - used humorously to say someone is not like this at all

Dictionary results for "pure"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.