8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary


[purj] /pɜrdʒ/
verb (used with object), purged, purging.
to rid of whatever is impure or undesirable; cleanse; purify.
to rid, clear, or free (usually followed by of or from):
to purge a political party of disloyal members.
to clear of imputed guilt or ritual uncleanliness.
to clear away or wipe out legally (an offense, accusation, etc.) by atonement or other suitable action.
to remove by cleansing or purifying (often followed by away, off, or out).
to clear or empty (the bowels) by causing evacuation.
to cause evacuation of the bowels of (a person).
to put to death or otherwise eliminate (undesirable or unwanted members) from a political organization, government, nation, etc.
  1. to drive off (undesirable gases) from a furnace or stove.
  2. to free (a furnace or stove) of undesirable gases.
verb (used without object), purged, purging.
to become cleansed or purified.
to undergo or cause purging of the bowels.
the act or process of purging.
the removal or elimination of members of a political organization, government, nation, etc., who are considered disloyal or otherwise undesirable.
something that purges, as a purgative medicine or dose.
1250-1300; (v.) Middle English purgen < Old French purg(i)er < Latin pūrgāre to cleanse; (noun) Middle English < Old French, derivative of the v.
Related forms
purgeable, adjective
purger, noun
unpurgeable, adjective
unpurged, adjective
8. oust, liquidate, extirpate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for purged
  • The appearance of these officials suggested that they would probably not be purged.
  • In such places, all countervailing opinions will be purged from the population.
  • As part of his anti-corruption drive, the president has purged the customs service, putting in his own trusted people.
  • He said the order to boil all water would be in effect for a few more days, until the system could be purged.
  • Some of the more thuggish army officers have been purged from political posts.
  • Those made during the boom years are being purged from the system, and the ones that came after carried more stringent terms.
  • But even as the opportunities disappear, it is comforting to know that the spirit for adventure has not been purged from us yet.
  • The economy has since been thoroughly purged of the inflation bug.
  • The errors and multiple entries that plague existing systems ought to be purged.
  • Mainland troops brutally quelled the unrest, after which security police purged anyone even suspected of disloyalty.
British Dictionary definitions for purged


(transitive) to rid (something) of (impure or undesirable elements)
(transitive) to rid (a state, political party, etc) of (dissident or troublesome people)
  1. to empty (the bowels) by evacuation of faeces
  2. to cause (a person) to evacuate his bowels
  1. to clear (a person) of a charge
  2. to free (oneself) of guilt, as by atonement: to purge contempt
(intransitive) to be cleansed or purified
the act or process of purging
the elimination of opponents or dissidents from a state, political party, etc
a purgative drug or agent; cathartic
Derived Forms
purger, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French purger, from Latin pūrgāre to purify
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 purged



c.1300, "clear of a charge or suspicion;" late 14c., "cleanse, clear, purify," from Anglo-French purger, Old French purgier "wash, clean; refine, purify" morally or physically (12c., Modern French purger) and directly from Latin purgare "cleanse, make clean; purify," especially of the body, "free from what is superfluous; remove, clear away," figuratively "refute, justify, vindicate" (also source of Spanish purgar, Italian purgare), from Old Latin purigare, from purus "pure" (see pure) + root of agere "to drive, make" (see act (n.)). Related: Purged; purging.


1560s, "that which purges," from purge (v.). Meaning "a purgative, an act of purging" is from 1590s. Political sense from 1730. Earliest sense in English was the now-obsolete one "examination in a legal court" (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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purged in Medicine

purge (pûrj)
v. purged, purg·ing, purg·es
To cause evacuation of the bowels. n.

  1. The act or process of purging.

  2. Something that purges, especially a medicinal purgative.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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