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[pyoo r-iz-uh m] /ˈpyʊər ɪz əm/
strict observance of or insistence on purity in language, style, etc.
an instance of this.
(often initial capital letter) Fine Arts. a style of art developed in France in the early 20th century, characterized by the use of simple geometric forms and images evocative of objects produced by machine.
Origin of purism
1795-1805; pure + -ism
Related forms
purist, noun
puristic, puristical, adjective
puristically, adverb
hyperpurist, noun
nonpuristic, adjective
unpuristic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for purist
  • Ask, if you are a purist, what ingredients are used.
  • Imperfection, a purist might argue, comes with the territory.
  • He is an ideologue, purist with no grasp of reality.
  • As it is he has been coming off as a moral purist who wants to ban all gambling.
  • Dizzy was a purist in the finest sense of the word, but he was also a technician in terms of harmony.
  • Offering an engaging connection and introduction to formal study is simply not as negative as an academic purist might think.
  • Non-Existent in purist perfection, unbridled by any issues presented by the constant turmoil of interaction existence demands.
  • From the purist point of view, history is not a less scientific science, it's a non science.
  • But you know, if you're a purist about these things, don't read the last part of this item.
  • In the middle of the road are the folks who claim naturalized plants as native, along with the purist's plants.
British Dictionary definitions for purist


insistence on traditional canons of correctness of form or purity of style or content, esp in language, art, or music
Derived Forms
purist, adjective, noun
puristic, adjective
puristically, adverb
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 purist

"stickler for purity," 1706, from pure + -ist; on model of French puriste (1580s), originally in reference to speech.



1803, of language, from French purisme (see purist + -ism). As a movement in art from 1921.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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