The Meaning of Purge: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of purge? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word purge, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word purge mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word purge is a verb that means to rid a space or thing of something or someone that is undesirable. This could refer to the sudden removal of a person from a group, which would be known as the process of purging. The world purge could refer to the elimination of opponents or dissidents in political science. The pronunciation of purge is pɜːdʒ. The suffixes er, tion, and ble can be added to the end of the word purge to form the related words purger (n.), purgation (n.)and purgeable (adj.).

The term purge can also refer to a form of cathartic medicine in which someone may vomit to remove sediment from the stomach or intestines. This cleansing and other forms of purgative medicine could also involve the evacuation of the bowels. This does have the stigma of bulimia, but is at times necessary. A person may be given a purgative drug or antibiotics to clean their system of poison or toxins. Frequent evacuations should be monitored.

Many different languages also contain words that mean purge. You may notice that in this list of translations of purge from Word Sense, some of these words look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words in different languages that look and sound similar because they have a shared root or language of origin. 

  •  French: purge‎ (fem.), épuration‎ (fem.)
  •  Russian: чи́стка‎ (fem.)
  •  Spanish: purga‎ (fem.)
  •  Mandarin: 清洗‎ (qīngxǐ)
  •  Finnish: puhdistus‎
  •  Bulgarian: чистка‎
  •  Slovak: čistka‎ (fem.)
  •  Italian: epurazione‎ (fem.)
  •  Czech: čistka‎ (fem.)
  •  Macedonian: чистка‎
  •  Belarusian: чыстка‎
  •  Bokmål: utrenskning‎ (masc.) (f)
  •  Polish: czystka‎ (fem.)
  •  German: Säuberung‎ (fem.)
  •  Japanese: 粛清‎ (しゅくせい, shukusei), パージ‎ (pāji)
  •  Ukrainian: чистка‎
  •  Portuguese: purga‎ (fem.)
  •  Swedish: utrensning‎ (common)
  •  Slovene: čistka‎ (fem.)
  •  Serbo-Croatian: чи̏стка‎ (fem.), čȉstka‎ (fem.)

What is the origin of the word purge?

According to Etymonline, the word purge has been used since the c14 Middle English purgen. This comes from the Anglo-French and Old French purger. This comes from the  Old French purg and purgier, which comes directly from the Latin purgare and Latin pūrgāre, from Old Latin purus/pūrus. These comes from the root peuə in Indo-European roots.

What are synonyms and antonyms of purge?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word purge. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful terms to learn if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself as well as if you are trying to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word purge is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  decontaminate
  •  purifying
  •  scour
  •  sanctify
  •  liquidation
  •  flush
  •  spue
  •  purification
  •  expel
  •  expulsion
  •  cleanse
  •  barf
  •  throw up
  •  clear
  •  chuck
  •  shrive
  •  cleaning
  •  expurgate
  •  exonerate
  •  removal
  •  purging
  •  puke
  •  remove
  •  absolve
  •  disgorge
  •  evacuate
  •  ejection
  •  eliminate
  •  be sick
  •  retch
  •  honk
  •  regurgitate
  •  eradication
  •  clean
  •  regorge
  •  purgative
  •  vomit
  •  upchuck
  •  sick
  •  purgation
  •  wash
  •  cleansing
  •  extermination
  •  purify
  •  liquidate
  •  exterminate
  •  spew
  •  clean up
  •  eradicate
  •  cast

There are also numerous different related words that mean the opposite of the word purge. These are known as antonyms, which are another great way to work on expanding your vocabulary. This list of antonyms of the word purge is also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  not apologise
  •  install
  •  aperture
  •  amend
  •  not sorry
  •  deprive of simplicity
  •  not make an apology
  •  not ask for forgiveness
  •  assist
  •  cast a spell
  •  corrupt
  •  blighted
  •  keeping
  •  place
  •  binge
  •  defile
  •  defy
  •  rehabilitate
  •  aid
  •  castigate
  •  foul
  •  not owe an apology
  •  take to court
  •  water
  •  allow
  •  bear
  •  keep
  •  admittance
  •  be unapologetic
  •  don’t be sorry
  •  holding
  •  be impenitent
  •  infect
  •  maintain
  •  compensate
  •  make thin
  •  never wash
  •  maintenance
  •  daub
  •  not express regret for
  •  not offer apology
  •  not be apologetic
  •  not offer an apology
  •  begrime
  •  not apologize
  •  befoul
  •  inveigled
  •  adulteration
  •  contaminate
  •  condemn

How can the word purge be used in a sentence?

The word purge can be used in a variety of different circumstances in the English language, in both American and British English. Using words in a sentence is a great way to learn their definitions. You can also try making flashcards or quizzes to memorize different definitions. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today!Below are a few examples of the word purge in the following sentences.

Voters incited a massive purge in the political party of disloyal members. After the accusation and later imputed guilt, the elimination of members of a political organization was necessary.

After the ceremonial defilement in the monastery, the monks took suitable action against the troublesome people who had committed the offense. No more unwanted members were welcome, only those who had taken the oath. Everyone else was purged.

When the guards went on strike, there was a purge of people who were serving imprisonment for the charge of a crime. This removal of people into exile and escape was a mad dash, and few escaped without a wound.

She purged the steam pipe and old gas tank from their ritual uncleanliness. If she didn’t rinse them once a month, the air would fill with undesirable gases.

He was almost charged with a misdemeanor during the ordeal where the excess of liquors in his system forced him to purge it all over the sidewalk.

Overall, the word purge means to get rid of something undesirable. This word is of French and Latin origins.


  1. Purge definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. purge: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. purge | Origin and meaning of purge | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  4. Purge antonyms – 130 Opposites of Purge | Power Thesaurus 
  5. Purge synonyms – 1 209 Words and Phrases for Purge | Power Thesaurus