Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

pure - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective     pure pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    a pure substance or material has nothing mixed with it that might spoil its quality or effect
  2. 2
    [only before noun] used for emphasizing the amount or degree of something

    a scream of pure terror

    a smile of pure happiness

    pure chance/coincidence/luck:

    Perhaps it was pure chance that the other woman happened to be there.

  3. 3
    a pure sound, colour, light etc is very clear and beautiful

    The flowers were a pure white.

    the pure sound of children laughing

  4. 4
    a pure subject of study, especially in science, deals only with theory and not with the way the theory is used
    1. a.
      a pure form of art does not have any practical purpose, such as selling something

      You could separate it from its political message and just look at it as pure poetry.

  5. 5
    a pure person or pure behaviour is free from wrong, especially in sexual matters

    He cannot claim to have led an absolutely pure life.

    It is hard to be humble, and nobody is pure.

derived word


noun [uncountable]
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play