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[im-pyoo r-i-tee] /ɪmˈpyʊər ɪ ti/
noun, plural impurities for 2.
the quality or state of being impure.
Often, impurities. something that is or makes impure:
After the flood the authorities warned against impurities in the drinking water.
Origin of impurity
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English impurite < Latin impūritās. See impure, -ity
1. contamination, pollution, taint. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for impurities
  • He obtained and partially examined many gases, but rarely troubled about separating them completely from impurities.
  • Against the licentiousness of the pagans he shows that all impurities are sins against reason.
  • Semiconductor-grade silicon must be ultrapure before doping, or adding tiny amounts of impurities to change its conductivity.
  • Wash the remainder with water to remove impurities and surplus lye.
  • With certain impurities it is known as ruby or sapphire silicon dioxide- aka quartz.
  • According to legend, human bones remove impurities from the iron and steel and bestow the swords with spirit.
  • Air impurities from smog to pollen can take a toll on your lungs, particularly during summer.
  • The sun's heat causes water to evaporate, separating the water vapor from salt or impurities.
  • Natural impurities in the gold indicate that the metal was mined and worked in the region.
  • Refining removes impurities and unwanted chemicals, leaving a more energy-dense fuel good for more power when burned.
British Dictionary definitions for impurities


noun (pl) -ties
the quality of being impure
an impure thing, constituent, or element: impurities in the water
(electronics) a small quantity of an element added to a pure semiconductor crystal to control its electrical conductivity See also acceptor (sense 2), donor (sense 5)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for impurities



mid-15c., "thing which makes or is impure;" c.1500, "fact or quality of being impure," from Middle French impurité, from impur (see impure). Related: Impurities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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