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From Middle English purgen, from Old French purgier, from Latin purgō (I make pure, I cleanse), from purus (clean, pure) + agō (I make, I do).



purge (plural purges)

  1. An act of purging.
  2. (medicine) An evacuation of the bowels or a vomiting.
  3. A cleansing of pipes.
  4. A forcible removal of people, for example, from political activity.
    Stalin liked to ensure that his purges were not reversible.
  5. That which purges; especially, a medicine that evacuates the intestines; a cathartic.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Arbuthnot to this entry?)

Related termsEdit



purge (third-person singular simple present purges, present participle purging, simple past and past participle purged)

  1. (transitive) To clean thoroughly; to cleanse; to rid of impurities.
  2. (transitive, religion) to free from sin, guilt, or the burden or responsibility of misdeeds
  3. (transitive) To remove by cleansing; to wash away.
    • Bible, Psalms lxxix. 9
      Purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.
    • Addison
      We'll join our cares to purge away / Our country's crimes.
  4. (transitive, intransitive, medicine) To void or evacuate (the bowels or the stomach); to defecate or vomit.
  5. (transitive, medicine) To cause someone to purge, operate on (somebody) as or with a cathartic or emetic, or in a similar manner.
    • 1979, Octavia Butler, Kindred:
      "What did they die of?" I asked.
      "Fevers. The doctor came and bled them and purged them, but they still died."
      "He bled and purged babies?"
      "They were two and three. He said it would break the fever. And it did. But they ... they died anyway."
  6. (transitive, law) to clear of a charge, suspicion, or imputation
  7. (transitive) To clarify; to clear the dregs from (liquor).
  8. (intransitive) To become pure, as by clarification.
  9. (intransitive) To have or produce frequent evacuations from the intestines, as by means of a cathartic.
  10. (transitive) To trim, dress, or prune.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.





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purge f (plural purges)

  1. (Jersey) purgative