Definition of purgation in English:



mass noun
  • 1Purification or cleansing.

    ‘the purgation by ritual violence of morbid social emotions’
    • ‘I concluded that what my grandfather had been in Purgatory, though also present on earth in some mystical way, and God allowed him to appeal to his son to pray for his release and purgation from attachment to this dimension.’
    • ‘Catharsis is the explosion or release of long repressed feelings, the purgation of secret passions.’
    • ‘It takes place as a kind of massive purgation cleansing of the cosmos that allows the new creation to occur.’
    • ‘The showing of Anatomy of Pain on television was seen as poignant and revealing, a sort of purgation, catharsis.’
    • ‘She was cautious, but Feinstein finds no trace of dishonour in the care she took to keep herself alive and free through successive waves of revolution and purgation.’
    • ‘But in all cases the cure is effected essentially by a kind of catharsis or purgation - a release of the pent-up psychic energy, the constriction of which was the basic cause of the neurotic illness.’
    purging, purification, cleansing, release, relief, emotional release, freeing, deliverance, exorcism, ridding
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    1. 1.1 (in Catholic doctrine) the spiritual cleansing of a soul in purgatory.
      • ‘By this date, it was believed that the dead did not proceed directly to salvation, but instead passed to the intermediate state of purgatory, where they experienced a prolonged and painful purgation of their sins.’
      • ‘The man Christ's voluntary and most innocent, most shameful, and most cruel death on the Cross was the deletion and purgation of, and the satisfaction for, all the carnal desires of human nature.’
      • ‘Exorcists were known to abstain periodically from food for reasons of vision causation, purgation, and divine encounter.’
      • ‘The path to the unitive state, the mystics tell us, includes purgation, an encounter with the transforming love of God that cleanses and purifies us.’
      • ‘In Brown's late paintings and in the work Gillespie has been making in recent years, symbols are used less for confession and purgation than for spiritual instigation and invocation.’
      atonement, redemption, redress, reparation, restitution, recompense, requital, penance
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    2. 1.2historical The action of clearing oneself of accusation or suspicion by taking an oath or undergoing an ordeal.
      forgiveness, pardoning, exoneration, remission, dispensation, indulgence, clemency, mercy
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  • 2Evacuation of the bowels brought about by taking laxatives.

    • ‘Herbs with this flavor are generally used for clearing heat, inflammation, infections, toxicity, purgation, discharge dampness, cough vomiting.’
    • ‘In order to understand the use of purges in TCM it is important to understand the concepts and principles of purgation as applied in herbal practice.’
    • ‘For those with dry stool or constipation, purgation is adopted to clear away heat and promote bowel movement.’
    • ‘On the last day of Pizhichil, herbal medicines are given for purgation and a suitable diet prescribed.’
    • ‘Clinical research on purgation in the treatment of the condition lends some support to this hypothesis.’
    • ‘What was the evidence, he asked, that purgation did anyone any good?’


Late Middle English: from Old French purgacion, from Latin purgatio(n-), from purgare ‘purify’ (see purge).