|purgatory (ˈpɜːɡətərɪ, -trɪ)|
|1.||chiefly RC Church a state or place in which the souls of those who have died in a state of grace are believed to undergo a limited amount of suffering to expiate their venial sins and become purified of the remaining effects of mortal sin|
|2.||a place or condition of suffering or torment, esp one that is temporary|
|[C13: from Old French purgatoire, from Medieval Latin pūrgātōrium, literally: place of cleansing, from Latin pūrgāre to |
In the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, the condition of souls of the dead who die with some punishment (though not damnation) due them for their sins. Purgatory is conceived as a condition of suffering and purification that leads to union with God in heaven. Purgatory is not mentioned in the Bible; Catholic authorities defend the teaching on purgatory by arguing that prayer for the dead is an ancient practice of Christianity and that this practice assumes that the dead can be in a state of suffering — a state that the living can improve by their prayers.
Note: A “purgatory” is, by extension, any place of suffering, usually for past misdeeds.