Definition of impure in US English:



  • 1Mixed with foreign matter; adulterated.

    ‘bullets cast from an impure lead’
    • ‘The supply did subsequently prove to be impure.’
    • ‘All are combinations of other media and thus, necessarily impure.’
    • ‘Robert Penn Warren's preference for impure rather than pure poetry made the same claim as Cleanth Brooks's ‘Irony as a Principle of Structure.’’
    • ‘Truth is after all universal and all over the place, though in bits and pieces at times, disguised, hidden, not unlike traces of gold mixed with impure minerals.’
    • ‘However this has nothing to do with nuclear power, where impure plutonium is a minor by-product of the fission of uranium.’
    • ‘Natural gold is almost always impure, being alloyed with silver.’
    • ‘The materials alchemists used were typically impure mixtures whose composition varied according the site from which they originated.’
    • ‘The checking is a part of the new scheme ‘Impure to Pure’, which offers to exchange impure jewellery of any karatage for Tanishq's pure 22 Kt jewellery.’
    • ‘Wohler is generally credited with having isolated the metal in 1827, although an impure form was prepared by Oersted two years earlier.’
    adulterated, mixed, combined, blended, alloyed
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    1. 1.1 Dirty.
      ‘a parasite that thrives in impure water’
      • ‘These deaths are a result of inadequate medical supplies, impure water and nutritional deficiencies.’
      • ‘The water is particularly impure and that's one of the reasons that many hotels are choosing to evacuate their residents.’
      • ‘Any blood found to be impure or infected with any disease is discarded.’
      • ‘After all, few things can be more insidious than impure water, since water is one of the natural resources we take for granted.’
      • ‘They clean the impure water from the impurities and chlorine makes water fit for drinking.’
      • ‘Some of these causes are difficult to remove because they are created by impure air, pollution from industry and motor vehicles.’
      • ‘People develop many ailments due to impure water.’
      • ‘Breast milk is always sterile, unlike the one served in bottles that could be contaminated because of mixing impure water.’
      • ‘The author also claims that impure water can certainly make you sick, but the vast majority of travelers' intestinal symptoms are due to poor food handling practices.’
      • ‘This particular chapter starts with the classification of water and goes on to describe how water gets impure or polluted, modes and methods of purification of water and a host of other topics.’
      • ‘The troops, already debilitated by the impure drinking water and hunger on the long, hot march from Batesville, were quickly overcome with malaria, as had been predicted.’
      • ‘A woman in Stoney Creek, Adelaide Hoodless, suffered the loss of her baby son as a result of impure milk.’
      • ‘When the powder was mixed with impure water, large numbers of babies got sick.’
      • ‘Although steel scrap is legal trade, the waste, if indeed it arrived, would have been hugely impure.’
      • ‘It was a well-known fact that imperfect drainage, impure water, overcharged graveyards and want of ventilation, which was usual in places like this, carried the cholera germs.’
      • ‘But the odds are higher that I will suffer immediate and drastic consequence from rotten food or impure water than I will from anger, spite and bitter words.’
      • ‘In the developed world, bottled water owes part of its popularity to the view that tap water is impure, contaminated, and hence risky.’
      • ‘In Africa like most third world countries, most of the water consumed is impure.’
      • ‘The missiles that fly are also schools that have not been built, water supplies that remain impure and diseases that stay uncured.’
      • ‘What can he say about the FDA, an agency that keeps us safe from impure food and poisonous pharmaceuticals?’
      contaminated, polluted, tainted, infected, sullied, defiled, unwholesome, poisoned
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    2. 1.2 (of a color) mixed with another color.
  • 2Morally wrong, especially in sexual matters.

    ‘citizens suspected of harboring impure thoughts’
    • ‘And we may sometimes have impure thoughts when we see the photograph of a pretty woman with big breasts.’
    • ‘But part of the recognition of the Fall is to realize that though no person is wholly good or wholly evil, one is still obliged to fight on the side of justice, even if one's side is tainted by sin and impure motives.’
    • ‘Pythagoreans believed that anyone who downgraded his life by immoral and impure acts would be born as animal in his next life.’
    • ‘In addition to plucky songwriting, its sheer honesty offers a voyeuristic thrill: Clark sounds naked to the point of sexual, even when her subjects are far removed from impure thoughts.’
    • ‘Yet I knew that my urges were impure and sinful, and that it was my duty as a Christian to resist them until the day of my wedding to my beloved Emily.’
    • ‘With no discussion, he glossed the legal meaning of obscene as ‘[t] ending to stir the sex impulses or to lead to sexually impure and lustful thoughts’.’
    • ‘Such a scheme by the ruling party is shameless because the motives behind it are impure.’
    • ‘She whispered the last words as they were impure to say, and according to everyone I've known… they are impure.’
    • ‘I don't know how to say this, but lately I've been having impure thoughts.’
    • ‘Stephen has been particularly sinful-thinking impure thoughts and frequenting prostitutes-and the hellfire sermons terrify him into a resolution to give all this up and live a holy life again.’
    • ‘Jones asks, ‘What happens then, when works of art solicit impure bodily pleasures?’’
    • ‘They're impure, contaminating a virtuous America with their sinful behavior.’
    • ‘No young man will go through the motions of the dance, hour after hour, without thinking impure thoughts.’
    • ‘Keep good company, never mixing with adulterers, thieves or other impure people.’
    • ‘Yet, she was also expressing her concerns that their love might not be transcendently spiritual, that there might be a sinful, impure component to it.’
    • ‘Oh father, I have had many impure thoughts, really, really dirty thoughts, and about a married man too.’
    • ‘I'm not the only one either, who came here because they did something wrong or amoral or impure and is going to eternal damnation.’
    • ‘Ask God to cleanse you of all sin and impure thoughts and motives.’
    • ‘His motives are impure but his impact is the equivalent of warming sunshine after a bleak winter of bitter darkness.’
    • ‘If the book does well, there will be greater recognition as a writer and some money, but that is not to say that the motives are impure.’
    immoral, corrupt, sinful, wrongful, wicked, dishonourable
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    1. 2.1 Defiled or contaminated according to ritual prescriptions.
      ‘groups seen as impure included those possessed by demons’
      • ‘The exclusion of the eunuch is ideologically accomplished by designating him as ritually impure.’
      • ‘Rabbinical authorities have given the idea its approval on the grounds that it could be a life-saving measure even though pigs are also considered impure by Jews.’
      • ‘Here's a suggested reading for all who fear a Catholic will become ritually impure by associating with people who have Incorrect Opinions.’
      • ‘Moral impurity does not render a person ritually impure.’
      • ‘The Gurus always made it a point to repudiate the accepted notion of women being unworthy of performing religious ceremonies or being impure and temptation incarnate.’
      • ‘His spirit is considered to be impure, dangerous, contaminated and contagious.’
      • ‘Jesus, God in the flesh and understood as perfectly holy, was comfortable with the worst of people in a society which believed holy men demonstrated that holiness by shunning impurity and demonstrably impure people.’
      • ‘In actual fact, it was because the Catholic Church - until very recently - abhorred women being near the altar or singing in Church, because of all that impure, blood thing.’
      • ‘The humanity of Christ enters unto the holy of holies as one defiled by sin, blemished, and impure through contact with death and the curse of the cross.’
      • ‘But compared with sickness that is always real and palpable, defilement not resulting from disease (e.g., ritually impure food), is fictional.’
      • ‘They smoked cigarettes or drank water using their left hand, which is considered impure.’
      • ‘According to Shinto beliefs, a woman is made impure by her menstrual cycles, meaning she should not even touch the sumo ring, let alone fight in it - a rule true in professional sumo even today.’
      • ‘Jesus allows himself to be handled in public by a notorious woman who, with her unbound hair and hysterical display, is rendering him as ritually impure as she is herself.’
      • ‘The Pariyars' low status is continually emphasized through association with one of the most impure and contaminating phenomena of all in Hinduism - death.’
      • ‘A pleasing compromise position was that the ritually impure might handle such coins through a layer of cloth; but could unbelievers be relied on to behave with such delicacy towards Muslim scripture?’
      • ‘Although menstruating women are considered ritually impure and may not enter temples, discrimination against women is not pronounced.’
      • ‘Some Jews even consider many actions and foods and even associations with some persons as ‘ritually impure.’’
      • ‘With its impure spirits, the evil eye is thought to afflict human beings, animals, agriculture and property.’
      • ‘Jesus seems neither to have confirmed nor to have denied that eating impure food leads to ritual defilement.’
      contaminated, polluted, tainted, infected, sullied, defiled, unwholesome, poisoned
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Late Middle English (in the sense ‘dirty, containing offensive matter’): from Latin impurus, from in- ‘not’ + purus ‘pure’.