purchase (n.) Look up purchase at Dictionary.com
c.1300, purchas, "acquisition, gain;" also, "something acquired or received, a possession; property, goods;" especially "booty, spoil; goods gained by pillage or robbery" (to make purchase was "to seize by robbery"). Also "mercenary soldier, one who fights for booty." From Anglo-French purchace, Old French porchaz "acquisition, gain, profit; seizing, plunder; search pursuit, effort," from Anglo-French purchaser, Old French porchacier (see purchase (v.)).

From early 14c. as "endeavor, effort, exertion; instigation, contrivance;" late 14c. as "act of acquiring, procurement." Meaning "that which is bought" is from 1580s. The sense of "hold or position for advantageously applying power" (1711) is extended from the nautical verb meaning "to haul or draw (especially by mechanical power)," often used in reference to hauling up anchors, attested from 1560s. Wif of purchase (early 14c.) was a term for "concubine."
purchaser (n.) Look up purchaser at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from Anglo-French, Old French porchaceor, agent noun from porchacier (see purchase (v.)).
purdah (n.) Look up purdah at Dictionary.com
1800, from Urdu and Persian pardah "veil, curtain," from Old Persian pari "around, over" (from PIE *per- (1); see per-) + da- "to place", from PIE *dhe- "to set, put" (see factitious).
pure (adj.) Look up pure at Dictionary.com
c.1300 (late 12c. as a surname, and Old English had purlamb "lamb without a blemish"), "unmixed," also "absolutely, entirely," from Old French pur "pure, simple, absolute, unalloyed," figuratively "simple, sheer, mere" (12c.), from Latin purus "clean, clear; unmixed; unadorned; chaste, undefiled," from PIE root *peue- "to purify, cleanse" (cognates: Latin putus "clear, pure;" Sanskrit pavate "purifies, cleanses," putah "pure;" Middle Irish ur "fresh, new;" Old High German fowen "to sift").

Replaced Old English hlutor. Meaning "free from moral corruption" is first recorded mid-14c. In reference to bloodlines, attested from late 15c.
pureblood (adj.) Look up pureblood at Dictionary.com
1851, from pure blood (n.), attested from 1751 in reference to breeding, from pure (adj.) + blood (n.). As a noun meaning "a pure-blood animal" from 1882.
purebred (adj.) Look up purebred at Dictionary.com
1868, from pure + bred.
puree (n.) Look up puree at Dictionary.com
1707, from French purée "pea soup" (puree de pois, early 14c.), of uncertain origin, perhaps from past participle of purer "to strain, cleanse," from Latin purare "purify," from purus (see pure).
puree (n.) Look up puree at Dictionary.com
1934, from puree (n.). Related: Pureed.
purely (adv.) Look up purely at Dictionary.com
late 13c., from pure + -ly (2).
purgation (n.) Look up purgation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "purification from sin," also "discharge of waste," from Old French purgacion "a cleansing," medical or spiritual (12c., Modern French purgation) and directly from Latin purgationem (nominative purgatio) "a cleansing, purging," figuratively "an apology, justification," noun of action from past participle stem of purgare (see purge (v.)).
purgative (adj.) Look up purgative at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French purgatif (14c.) and directly from Late Latin purgativus, from purgat-, past participle stem of Latin purgare (see purge (v.)). The noun is attested from early 15c. (Old English medical texts have clænsungdrenc).
purgatory (n.) Look up purgatory at Dictionary.com
c.1200, from Old French purgatore and directly from Medieval Latin purgatorium (St. Bernard, early 12c.), in Latin, "means of cleansing," noun use of neuter of purgatorius (adj.) "purging, cleansing," from purgat-, past participle stem of Latin purgare (see purge (v.)). Figurative use from late 14c.
purge (v.) Look up purge at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "clear of a charge or suspicion;" late 14c., "cleanse, clear, purify," from Anglo-French purger, Old French purgier "wash, clean; refine, purify" morally or physically (12c., Modern French purger) and directly from Latin purgare "cleanse, make clean; purify," especially of the body, "free from what is superfluous; remove, clear away," figuratively "refute, justify, vindicate" (also source of Spanish purgar, Italian purgare), from Old Latin purigare, from purus "pure" (see pure) + root of agere "to drive, make" (see act (n.)). Related: Purged; purging.
purge (n.) Look up purge at Dictionary.com
1560s, "that which purges," from purge (v.). Meaning "a purgative, an act of purging" is from 1590s. Political sense from 1730. Earliest sense in English was the now-obsolete one "examination in a legal court" (mid-15c.).
purgery (n.) Look up purgery at Dictionary.com
"bleaching room for sugar," 1847, from French purgerie (1838), from purger (see purge (v.)). For the legal term, see perjury.
purification (n.) Look up purification at Dictionary.com
late 14c., originally especially in reference to Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary, from Old French purificacion, from Latin purificationem (nominative purificatio) "a purifying," noun of action from past participle stem of purificare (see purify). General sense from 1590s.
purifier (n.) Look up purifier at Dictionary.com
late 15c., agent noun from purify; as a type of mechanical apparatus, from 1834.
purify (v.) Look up purify at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "free from spiritual pollution," from Old French purefier "purify, cleanse, refine" (12c.), from Latin purificare "to make pure," from purus "pure" (see pure) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Meaning "free from extraneous matter" is recorded from mid-15c. Related: Purified; purifying.
Purim (n.) Look up Purim at Dictionary.com
Jewish festival on the 14th of Adar (in commemoration of the defeat of Haman's plot), late 14c., from Hebrew purim, literally "lots" (plural of pur), identified with haggoral "the lot" (Esther iii:7, ix:24), perhaps from Akkadian puru "stone, urn," "which itself is prob. a loan word from Sumeric bur" [Klein].
purine (n.) Look up purine at Dictionary.com
1898, from German purin (Fischer), said to be from Latin purum, neuter of purus "clean, pure" (see pure) + Modern Latin uricum "uric acid" + chemical suffix -ine (2).
purism (n.) Look up purism at Dictionary.com
1803, of language, from French purisme (see purist + -ism). As a movement in art from 1921.
purist (n.) Look up purist at Dictionary.com
"stickler for purity," 1706, from pure + -ist; on model of French puriste (1580s), originally in reference to speech.
Puritan (n.) Look up Puritan at Dictionary.com
1560s, "opponent of Anglican hierarchy," later applied opprobriously to "person in Church of England who seeks further reformation" (1570s), probably from purity. Largely historical from 19c. in literal sense. After c.1590s, applied to anyone deemed overly strict in matters of religion and morals.
What [William] Perkins, and the whole Puritan movement after him, sought was to replace the personal pride of birth and status with the professional's or craftsman's pride of doing one's best in one's particular calling. The good Christian society needs the best of kings, magistrates, and citizens. Perkins most emphasized the work ethic from Genesis: "In the swaete of thy browe shalt thou eate thy breade." [E. Digby Baltzell, "Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia," 1979]
puritanical (adj.) Look up puritanical at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Puritan + -ical. Chiefly in disparaging use. Related: Puritanically.
Puritanism (n.) Look up Puritanism at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Puritan + -ism. Originally in reference to specific doctrines; from 1590s of excessive moral strictness generally. In this sense, famously defined by H.L. Mencken (1920) as "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy."
purity (n.) Look up purity at Dictionary.com
c.1200, from Old French purete "simple truth," earlier purte (12c., Modern French pureté), from Late Latin puritatem (nominative puritas) "cleanness, pureness," from Latin purus "clean, pure, unmixed; chaste, undefiled" (see pure (adj.)).
purl (v.1) Look up purl at Dictionary.com
"knit with inverted stitches," 1825; earlier "embroider with gold or silver thread" (1520s), probably from Middle English pirlyng "revolving, twisting," of unknown origin. The two senses usually are taken as one word, but even this is not certain. Klein suggests a source in Italian pirolare "to twirl," from pirolo "top." As a noun, from late 14c. as "bordering, frills," 1530s as "twisted thread of gold and silver."
purl (v.2) Look up purl at Dictionary.com
"flow with a murmuring sound," 1580s, imitative, perhaps from a Scandinavian language. Related: Purled; purling.
purloin (v.) Look up purloin at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "remove, misappropriate," from Anglo-French purloigner "remove," Old French porloigner "put off, retard, delay, drag out; be far away," from por- (from Latin pro- "forth;" see pro-) + Old French loing "far," from Latin longe, from longus (see long (adj.)). Sense of "to steal" (1540s) is a development in English. Related: Purloined; purloining.
purple (n., adj.) Look up purple at Dictionary.com
Old English purpul, dissimilation (first recorded in Northumbrian, in Lindisfarne gospel) of purpure "purple dye, a purple garment," purpuren (adj.) "purple," a borrowing by 9c. from Latin purpura "purple color, purple-dyed cloak, purple dye," also "shellfish from which purple was made," and "splendid attire generally," from Greek porphyra "purple dye, purple" (see porphyry), of uncertain origin, perhaps Semitic, originally the name for the shellfish (murex) from which it was obtained. Purpur continued as a parallel form until 15c., and through 19c. in heraldry. As a color name, attested from early 15c. Tyrian purple, produced around Tyre, was prized as dye for royal garments.

Also the color of mourning or penitence (especially in royalty or clergy). Rhetorical for "splendid, gaudy" (of prose) from 1590s. Purple Heart, U.S. decoration for service members wounded in combat, instituted 1932; originally a cloth decoration begun by George Washington in 1782. Hendrix' Purple Haze (1967) is slang for "LSD." Purple finch so called from 1826; "the name is a misnomer, arising from the faulty coloring of a plate by Mark Catesby, 1731" [Century Dictionary] Also house finch, so called for its domesticity.
purple (v.) Look up purple at Dictionary.com
c.1400, from purple (n.). Related: Purpled; purpling.
purplish (adj.) Look up purplish at Dictionary.com
1560s, from purple (n.) + -ish.
purport (n.) Look up purport at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Anglo-French purport (late 13c.), Old French porport "contents, tenor," back-formation from purporter "to contain, convey, carry," from pur- (from Latin pro- "forth;" see pur-) + Old French porter "to carry," from Latin portare "to carry" (see port (n.1)).
purport (v.) Look up purport at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "indicate, express, set forth," from the noun in English and from Anglo-French purporter (c.1300), from Old French purporter (see purport (n.)). Related: Purported; purporting.
purportedly (adv.) Look up purportedly at Dictionary.com
"allegedly," 1949, from past participle of purport (v.) + -ly (2).
purpose (n.) Look up purpose at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "intention, aim, goal," from Anglo-French purpos, Old French porpos "aim, intention" (12c.), from porposer "to put forth," from por- "forth" (from Latin pro- "forth;" see pur-) + Old French poser "to put, place" (see pose (v.1)). On purpose "by design" is attested from 1580s; earlier of purpose (early 15c.).
purpose (v.) Look up purpose at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Anglo-French purposer "to design," Old French porposer "to intend, propose," variant of proposer (see propose).
purposeful (adj.) Look up purposeful at Dictionary.com
1835, from purpose (n.) + -ful. Related: Purposefully.
purposeless (adj.) Look up purposeless at Dictionary.com
1550s, from purpose (n.) + -less. Related: Purposelessly; purposelessness.
purposely (adv.) Look up purposely at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from purpose (n.) + -ly (2).
purposive (adj.) Look up purposive at Dictionary.com
1849, from purpose + -ive.
purpura (n.) Look up purpura at Dictionary.com
disease characterized by purple patches on the skin, 1753, from Modern Latin, from Latin purpura "purple dye" (see purple (n.)). Related: Purpuric.
purpurescent (adj.) Look up purpurescent at Dictionary.com
1890, from Latin purpura (see purple (n.)) + -escent. The Latin adjective was purparescent, present participle of purpurascere "to become purple," from purpurare.
purr (v.) Look up purr at Dictionary.com
1610s, of imitative origin. Related: Purred; purring. As a noun from c.1600.
purse (n.) Look up purse at Dictionary.com
Old English pursa "little bag made of leather," especially for carrying money, from Medieval Latin bursa "leather purse" (source also of Old French borse, 12c., Modern French bourse; see bourse), from Late Latin bursa, variant of byrsa "hide," from Greek byrsa "hide, leather." Change of b- to p- perhaps by influence of Old English pusa, Old Norse posi "bag."

Meaning "woman's handbag" is attested from 1951. Meaning "sum of money collected as a prize in a race, etc.," is from 1640s. Purse-strings, figurative for "control of money," is from early 15c. Purse-snatcher first attested 1902 (earlier purse-picker, 1540s). The notion of "drawn together by a thong" also is behind purse-net (c.1400).
purse (v.) Look up purse at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "put in a purse;" c.1600 as "draw together and wrinkle" (as the strings of a money bag), from purse (n.). Related: Pursed; pursing.
purse-seine (n.) Look up purse-seine at Dictionary.com
1870; see purse (n.) + seine.
purser (n.) Look up purser at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "treasurer," especially "caretaker of accounts and provisions on a ship," originally also "maker of purses" (late 15c.), agent noun from Middle English purse (see purse (n.)). From late 13c. as a surname.
pursual (n.) Look up pursual at Dictionary.com
1814, from pursue + -al (2).
pursuance (n.) Look up pursuance at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Middle French poursuiance "act of pursuing," from Old French poursuir (see pursue).