Definition of pure in US English:



  • 1Not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material.

    ‘cars can run on pure alcohol’
    ‘the jacket was pure wool’
    • ‘When examined, the container was found to contain 32 pallets each containing four, 45-gallon drums of pure alcohol.’
    • ‘Primary standards are usually aqueous-based and consist of weighed-in amounts of pure materials.’
    • ‘Liquor sales as measured in pure alcohol have increased by three per cent during the first nine months of the trial aimed at reducing grog related harm in Alice Springs.’
    • ‘This tactile, sensual experience was made more poignant by the knowledge that these substances were pure, unalloyed, irreducible.’
    • ‘For pure wool it's also lovely and soft and I won't have to wear anything underneath to stop scratchiness.’
    • ‘The material felt like pure silk, completely smooth.’
    • ‘Thin films are simply not as good as pure bulk materials, even if they are cheaper, so it's incredibly important to make sure that the very most is made of the incoming light.’
    • ‘White-sand soil is almost pure quartz material derived from sediments that are more than 570 million years old.’
    • ‘The material was a pure iron that had been embedded in the plants while the iron was still molten.’
    • ‘Both the wild and the cultivated balsams are found in varied colours such as red, blue, yellow, pink, purple and white, either in a pure or mixed form.’
    • ‘As it is today, this is pure sit-com material and most respectable sit-com writers would shy away from such clichéd and hackneyed situations.’
    • ‘As for material, pure cotton is a very good choice for a tropical climate.’
    • ‘The analysis revealed that iron constituted less than 1 percent of the material, indicating essentially pure rhodochrosite.’
    • ‘The British drink two gallons of pure alcohol per person per year: more than almost all other Westerners.’
    • ‘I said I worked on semiconductor materials, where very pure crystals of, for example, silicon, are grown.’
    • ‘All of these markets have exacting requirements for pure uncontaminated raw material.’
    • ‘When a solid is made up of a pure substance and forms slowly, it can become a crystal.’
    • ‘One popular extinguisher material is pure carbon dioxide.’
    • ‘The term extinction coefficients describes the absorbance spectra of a single pure substance at known concentrations.’
    • ‘The Hantex showroom has a big collection of kasavu saris, dhotis, furnishing materials as well as pure cotton products at affordable prices.’
    unmixed, unalloyed, unadulterated, unblended, uncontaminated, sterling, solid, refined, one hundred per cent, 100%
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    1. 1.1 Without any extraneous and unnecessary elements.
      ‘the romantic notion of pure art devoid of social responsibility’
      • ‘Because her paintings are so artificial and so plainly painted, the viewer can appreciate pure art without the weight of hidden messages.’
      • ‘Such scenes work on the level of stylization and pure martial arts action, and may be appreciated wholly out of context, but the essence of heroism remains elusive.’
      • ‘It is predominantly an adaptation of Cotswold vernacular architecture with pure arts and crafts embellishments.’
      • ‘It's pure art to handle the ‘questioner’ who in fact is giving a mini-speech.’
      • ‘But, of the pieces I've seen, the pure graphic element doesn't do much on a gut level for me, at least not yet.’
      • ‘Hitler and the Nazis did it effectively, brutally waging war against decadent surrealists and any other artists or writers they considered an aberration from the pure Aryan ideal of art.’
      • ‘When light passes through a spectroscope it breaks into bands of unique colors that represent pure elements.’
      • ‘No longer a pure art, it would come to the people as a ruling class ‘art’, conditioned according to some political or religious design.’
      • ‘Deeply embedded within her mind is a node of pure Elemental energy.’
      • ‘His action scenes are beautiful capsules of pure kinetic art and grace, fusing his camera movement and his physical choreography into a singular performance.’
      • ‘I reach the insane conclusion that mathematics is pure art and I know that it isn't.’
      • ‘The plot elements partake of pure melodrama, but the treatment raises the story to another level.’
      • ‘But though it may be trivial in the face of war's absurd brutality, perhaps nothing makes as much sense as the pure beauty of Japanese art.’
      • ‘Although not pure art deco, its houses incorporated many of the elements of the style and large whitewashed villas now grace the south side.’
      • ‘This is pure classic fairy-tale material, and what it may lack in gritty complexity it makes up in primal symbolic resonance.’
      • ‘The 1970s were the first decade after films went from pure entertainment to art.’
      • ‘If a person does only judo it seemed that their art turned into pure sport.’
      • ‘I do believe video games are sort of at the heart of a cancer that's eating away at this culture, turning every popular art form into a pure service industry.’
      • ‘Yet Widayanto has succeeded in treading the fine line between his pure art creations and his more commercial products.’
      • ‘Often a piece resembles a pure collage until elements settle into a discernible rhythm pattern or a drumbeat will emerge to anchor the noises swirling around it.’
      sheer, utter, simple, absolute, downright, out-and-out, rank, complete, thorough, total, perfect, consummate, unmitigated, unqualified, palpable, patent
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    2. 1.2 Free of any contamination.
      ‘the pure, clear waters of Montana’
      • ‘If the water has strange smell, you should use pure bottled water.’
      • ‘Thousands of restoration projects in rural areas need millions of trees to provide clean air, pure water, and improved wildlife habitat.’
      • ‘You start with water and end with water, pure and unpolluting.’
      • ‘It is very important to find quality water filters so that you can drink clean and pure water.’
      • ‘I still haven't got to the bottom of it, but my guess is that it was the heady combination of utterly pure water and deliciously clean air.’
      • ‘In a new bowl, place one pound of sugar with pure clean water.’
      • ‘He fought tenaciously for pure water, clean air, and the free use of condoms on the NHS.’
      • ‘Organic meat is from animals that have been raised on a pure organic diet feed and pasture.’
      • ‘One of the psychics passed around a canteen full of clean, pure water, which Veon accepted gratefully.’
      • ‘In the 17th century a well was discovered on Ilkley Moor, according to folklore, by a shepherd who bathed his injured leg in the water and the pure water cleaned the wound and cured him!’
      • ‘The Government schemes to provide pure drinking water has not benefited the people living in the remote villages.’
      • ‘Where is the crystal clear, pure, unpolluted water that once characterized the river as well as most shallow wells in the area?’
      • ‘Its light began to fade away, and kept fading until they were just looking at a pail full of pure, unpolluted water.’
      • ‘Care was taken to use pure water in the chamber because most contaminants tend to lower the water vapor pressure.’
      • ‘The success of destroying all microorganisms capable of growing in canned food is based on the temperature obtained in pure steam, free of air, at sea level.’
      • ‘Announce prizes like free tankers of pure water till the end of summer and free coaching for IIT foundation and medicine foundation.’
      • ‘He adopted a mostly vegetarian diet, cutting out sugar and saturated fat, taking antioxidants, herbal and soy supplements and drinking tons of pure water and green tea.’
      • ‘Growing wild in the pure and unpolluted waters of W. Ireland, the watercress is of exceptional quality.’
      • ‘Valerie and Noel Trezise will offer you a wide range of pure sweet natural honey free of additives or preservatives.’
      • ‘While driving along the winding and narrow Norwegian roads alongside a fjord we came to a massive glacier towering across the clearest expanse of pure turquoise water.’
      clean, clear, fresh, crisp, refreshing, sparkling, unpolluted, untainted, unadulterated, uncontaminated
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    3. 1.3 Wholesome and untainted by immorality, especially that of a sexual nature.
      ‘our fondness for each other is pure and innocent’
      • ‘Children are just the best thing there ever can be, the essence of innocence, their pure little hearts and minds not yet infected by our corrupt cold world.’
      • ‘Rather, they represent a genuine science of mind, a science of insight that uncovers the pure nature of the mind and world that we experience.’
      • ‘This spell is the ultimate technique that can be used only by those who have a pure and untainted soul.’
      • ‘We need to be morally upright, like chaste virgins before God, pure and clean.’
      • ‘Power always brings the need to compromise one's ideals, so what right had Benn to claim after the event that he remained pure and untainted?’
      • ‘Unicorns are renowned for their pickiness, only allowing human and elfin maidens of pure heart to ride them.’
      • ‘From this standpoint, rural people and their culture represent a negation of everything that is wholesome and pure about nature.’
      • ‘Give us courage, O Lord, in the face of danger, keep us pure in heart, clean in mind, and strong in purpose.’
      • ‘What I do know within my heart is that the light from the source is untainted and pure, and I call it divine love.’
      • ‘Why the attraction to athletes who are still pure and untainted and don't have big, you know, contracts?’
      • ‘Though he was not stupid, nor naïve, I told myself that he was like a child, ears, heart and mind pure and untainted with the thought of bloodshed and abuse.’
      • ‘Your father was a handsome well-built man, pure of heart.’
      • ‘She smelled like sorrow, and bitterness, and pain had never touched her, leaving her pure and untainted.’
      • ‘It can only be banished by a maiden of pure heart and the daughter of Zeus so Rena must be present’
      • ‘Our country needs men with ‘clean’ hands, pure hearts and a vision for the future, clearly written in honesty and integrity.’
      • ‘This is where the deepest transformation can take place, untainted and pure.’
      • ‘But Lincoln gets no credit for the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, because he didn't do it out of the pure goodness of his heart?’
      • ‘He personified the pure, blissful soul nature they sought and sensed as the center of themselves.’
      • ‘It is possible even in the midst of intense illness and the dying process to contact this fundamentally pure and wholesome state of mind.’
      • ‘My heart is pure and unsullied by such base, unromantic notions.’
      virtuous, moral, ethical, good, righteous, angelic, saintly, pious, honourable, reputable, wholesome, clean, honest, upright, upstanding, exemplary, above reproach, irreproachable, innocent
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    4. 1.4 (of a sound) perfectly in tune and with a clear tone.
      • ‘One may disregard or actively listen for the words, feel how they combine with the music, but it is hard not to hear them as something other and more than pure musical sound.’
      • ‘Each section was totally integrated, the sounds were pure and precise.’
      • ‘Anthony Marwood is perfectly suited to tackle these two contrasting works, displaying a tone and intonation that is pure and sensitive.’
      • ‘Sieden and Baker sing with pure tone and true, perhaps a bit naïve, fostering the illusion that they're just very good local soloists.’
      • ‘It's the deep, dark keening sound of the cello, the twilight voicings of the piano and the perfect, pure pitch of Paula Morelenbaums creamy voice.’
      • ‘Levy's glistening cascades of tonal warmth were pure instrumental bel canto.’
      • ‘‘I wanted a nice bass sound - something that's in your face and not the sweet and pure sound of the traditional harp,’ she said.’
      • ‘At only 23 she already produces a pure clear sound which soared above the orchestra, refusing to be overpowered.’
      • ‘Intent upon moving beyond notes and creating pure sound, he borrowed from African, Indian, and Middle Eastern sources.’
      • ‘In fact, he had invented an amazing type of speaker that really allowed pure sound to come through.’
      • ‘We rarely hear a pure fundamental tone either in music or in nature.’
      • ‘It's not related to the band because it isn't music in any shape or form, just anguished, terrifying pure sound.’
      • ‘The width of the bore and the large diameter of the tone holes gives it a strong, pure sound, invaluable to the military band and to the swing and dance big bands.’
      • ‘Yet, unlike Mahler, you chose not pure orchestral Lieder performed by a singer.’
      • ‘A few of the audience may have wandered away with the feeling that too little of this gave us a pure, beguiling Monteverdi sound.’
      • ‘The pure, high tones of the sopranos were ravishing.’
      • ‘Though Carter hasn't lost his love of the lyric as pure sound, the sentiments here come from the heart more than the head.’
      • ‘In fact, I'm so glad you asked me that question because that's another thing that would concern people is the fact that I'm not making a pure sound.’
      • ‘The tune was so pure, it reminded Katrina of all the good things in life.’
      • ‘I couldn't tell what the guy vocalist's words were, but the tone quality was amazing, a full and pure sound.’
    5. 1.5 (of an animal or plant) of unmixed origin or descent.
      ‘the pure Charolais is white or light wheat in the coat’
      • ‘Scheduled for March 23, the international program features seven races worth a total of $15,250,000, a figure that includes $250,000 for a pure-bred Arabian race.’
      • ‘The 28 student judges identified 16 matches out of the 25 pure-bred dogs, but they could not match mixed-breed dogs and their masters.’
      • ‘We also compared the mean expression level in hybrids relative to pure species between male-specific genes and all other genes.’
      • ‘She now has her own horse, Luke, a pure-bred Arab, and trains on him three times a week.’
      • ‘Some does are ‘strategically’ mated, but most just spend an afternoon in a private stall with one of the farm's many thick-nosed, pure-bred bucks.’
      • ‘Xiao Yan's favorite pet is a pure-bred cat, which she purchased for 16,000 RMB. ‘Each month, I have to spend a few hundred dollars on essential care for the cat,’ she said.’
      • ‘A record 80 pure-bred stallions were on parade and the biggest turnout of vintage tractors and other vehicles were on show.’
      • ‘The seed project was started last year to produce different varieties of quality, pure-bred mahangu (pearl millet), sorghum, maize, groundnut and cowpea seed, adapted to the needs of local farmers.’
      • ‘With pure-bred pups selling for as much as £500, dealing involving Labradors, Shih Tzus, German Shepherds, Spaniels and other breeds brought in from Ireland and Eastern Europe is a growing, multimillion-pound business.’
      • ‘They showed six-year-old Folds Veronica - one of six pure-bred Cleveland Bay mares they keep at their farm in Godshill.’
      • ‘If you're showing, check any relevant breed society guidelines first - pure-bred Arabs and natives should be shown with full, unplaited manes, whilst part-breds should have their manes pulled and plaited.’
      • ‘A Laois family of doglovers is searching for their pure-bred Springer Spaniel and say they would pay anything to get him back.’
      • ‘The piglets are the first pure-bred Gloucesters to be born on the farm - one of the north west's top tourist attractions - for nearly 10 years.’
      • ‘Last year the club reared and released into natural environments over 400 pure-bred mallard duck and 1,000 pheasant.’
      • ‘Iceland has these pure-bred horses that haven't changed in 900 years.’
      • ‘In 1876, William and his wife returned to Bell Block where he started his celebrated model farm on Corbett Road, breeding pure-bred Jersey cattle.’
      • ‘The family also had the supreme and reserve pens of pure-bred Texels and took the best single butcher's lamb award.’
      • ‘Of course he was pure puppy to Mr. Comolli, but we knew that Spook wanted our flesh in chunky pieces hanging from his slavering jaws.’
      • ‘Didi is a registered pure-bred gold schipperke, the colour of a golden fox, with foxy ears and a pointy foxy snout.’
      • ‘If the alpaca is indeed a descendant of the vicuna, geneticists might be able to identify pure-bred alpacas and guide new breeding programs to improve the quality of alpaca fleece.’
      pedigree, thoroughbred, full, full-bred, pure-blooded, blooded, pedigreed, genuine
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    6. 1.6 (of a subject of study) dealing with abstract concepts and not practical application.
      ‘a theoretical discipline such as pure physics’
      Compare with applied
      • ‘It was a platform both for engineering and systems development studies and for pure scientific research.’
      • ‘I've done a small amount of summer research in physics and I'm uncertain if pure physics research is something I'd enjoy doing for another 3 or 4 years.’
      • ‘The intervening years had seen advances in the study of pure biology at the microscopic level in parallel with advances in genetics.’
      • ‘I tend to think that the separation of application and pure research is the hallmark of poor ethics.’
      • ‘I believe in both the pure research & practical application of encryption theory.’
      • ‘Much of university research was pure research that had no obvious application at all at the time of its funding.’
      • ‘The more think tanks become concerned about shaping the political agenda, the less time they can focus on pure research.’
      • ‘The pure mathematician abstracts from physical situations certain quantitative aspects of bodies and their relations, and deals exclusively with these aspects.’
      • ‘But I operate in the sphere of practical politics not pure economic theory.’
      • ‘Prosser studied pure maths at Aberystwyth and might have gone into teaching if the money had not persuaded him to become an actuary like his brother.’
      • ‘Pure academic research and big science attract an even different personality type.’
      • ‘There is always a tension between the pursuit of pure academic research and the demands of society at large.’
      theoretical, abstract, conceptual, academic, hypothetical, philosophical, speculative, conjectural, non-practical, non-technical
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    7. 1.7Phonetics (of a vowel) not joined with another to form a diphthong.
      • ‘While "pure" vowels, or monophthongs, are said to have one target tongue position, diphthongs have two target tongue positions.’
      • ‘You will sound fairly good if your teacher's modeling elicits a free sound that is well-focused on pure vowels.’
      • ‘There are 14 pure [uncombined] vowels in English.’
    8. 1.8attributive Involving or containing nothing else but; sheer (used for emphasis)
      ‘a shout of pure anger’
      ‘an outcome that may be a matter of pure chance’
      • ‘It is in fact just a chain of events, brought about by pure chance that forms the raison d' être for this result.’
      • ‘Finding your golf ball in there is quite simply a case of pure chance.’
      • ‘He saw it in his eyes, the pure utter anger that Noriel had for his son, and suddenly he felt it.’
      • ‘Two escapees once stumbled upon the oasis by a sheer chance and pure luck, thus becoming the parents of the somber population.’
      • ‘It's way more punk, way more lyrical, but more than all, it's rooted in despair and sheer rage and pure joy in celebrating humanity.’
      • ‘Arendri who had never raised his voice like that in pure absolute anger had just bit the head off of the one person they all despised.’
      • ‘My face, I'm sure, is that of pure terror and anger right now.’
      • ‘Then began three months of hard work, and long nights mixed with sheer panic and pure delight that this project was becoming a reality.’
      • ‘Like all caricatures, this book overstates its case about the contribution of pure chance to scientific breakthroughs.’
      • ‘I found it by pure chance and I ask you all humbly to please go read and consider helping this man in a time of real need.’
      • ‘And what he saw to his sheer amazement was pure anger.’
      • ‘‘Good,’ she continued sweetly, and then he blinked as her expression morphed into pure and utter anger.’
      • ‘For a moment, his anger concentrated on pure, soulless insatiable carnal hunger and desire, which was the cause of all his suffering.’
      • ‘They have done so as a result of pure graft and sheer talent.’
      • ‘He appears to be unable to grasp the difference between receiving money through pure chance and through inheritance.’
      • ‘An inquiry launched by Barnsley health chiefs concluded there was no link between the deaths and it appeared to be pure chance that the cluster had appeared.’
      • ‘To ignore this is to run your business on a wing and a prayer, which is pure chance and takes your destiny out of your own hands.’
      • ‘Kimberley gaped in disbelief and what looked like pure fury at the sheer bitchiness of the other girl in the room, and Clay was seeing red as I stood up.’
      • ‘By pure chance, I also received a letter from the UK today.’
      • ‘On my first day at work, by pure chance my work was having a ‘think tank’ conference for the day at a conference centre in the city.’
      sheer, utter, simple, absolute, downright, out-and-out, rank, complete, thorough, total, perfect, consummate, unmitigated, unqualified, palpable, patent
      View synonyms


  • pure and simple

    • And nothing else (used for emphasis)

      ‘it was revenge, pure and simple’
      • ‘This isn't health policy, this is just politics, pure and simple.’
      • ‘What is now a tolerable sweep into disputed territory would be denounced in the U.N. as invasion pure and simple.’
      • ‘There was no physical abuse, but it was intimidation, pure and simple.’
      • ‘Misogynism, pure and simple, played a large part in it.’
      • ‘It's glam rock, pure and simple, and at high risk of sounding like everyone's dad, it was better the first time.’
      • ‘This is not a war of ideas, but a one-sided game where liberals allow the right to get away with anything pure and simple.’
      • ‘But the film he was in showed his intent and interests pure and simple.’
      • ‘Patents serve the research and development strategies of big corporations, pure and simple.’
      • ‘Where post-punk was arty, difficult, and challenging, new wave was pop music, pure and simple.’
      • ‘This is rock music, pure and simple, and they were very much a rock band.’


Middle English: from Old French pur ‘pure’, from Latin purus.