One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A thing that purifies or cleanses; an apparatus for removing impurities from a substance.
2Christian Church. A cloth used at the Eucharist for wiping the chalice and paten, and the fingers and lips of the celebrant.
Mid 18th century (in an earlier sense). From classical Latin pūrificāt-, past participial stem of pūrificāre purify + -or; originally after French purificateur. Compare post-classical Latin purificator, Catalan purificador, Spanish purificador, Italian purificatore.
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