"stickler for purity, one who aims at or insists on a scrupulous purity," 1706, from pure + -ist; on model of French puriste (1580s). Originally and particularly in reference to speech. Related: Puristic.
mid-13c., of gold, "unalloyed;" c. 1300 "unmixed, unadulterated; homogeneous," also "total, complete, absolute; bare, mere," also "sexually pure, virgin, chaste" (late 12c. as a surname, and Old English had purlamb "lamb without a blemish"), from Old French pur "pure, simple, absolute, unalloyed," figuratively "simple, sheer, mere" (12c.), from Latin purus "clean, clear; unmixed; unadorned; chaste, undefiled."
This is conjectured to be from PIE root *peue- "to purify, cleanse" (source also of Latin putus "clear, pure;" Sanskrit pavate "purifies, cleanses," putah "pure;" Middle Irish ur "fresh, new;" Old High German fowen "to sift").
It replaced Old English hlutor. The meaning "free from moral corruption" is recorded from mid-14c. In reference to bloodlines, attested from late 15c. In music, "mathematically perfect," by 1872.
word-forming element meaning "one who does or makes," also used to indicate adherence to a certain doctrine or custom, from French -iste and directly from Latin -ista (source also of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian -ista), from Greek agent-noun ending -istes, which is from -is-, ending of the stem of verbs in -izein, + agential suffix -tes.
Variant -ister (as in chorister, barrister) is from Old French -istre, on false analogy of ministre. Variant -ista is from Spanish, popularized in American English 1970s by names of Latin-American revolutionary movements.
1803, of language, "exclusion of admixture of any kind," often pejorative, "scrupulous affectation of rigid purity," from French purisme (see purist + -ism). As a movement in painting and sculpture that rejected cubism and returned to representation of the physical object, by 1921, with a capital P-.
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Definitions of purist
someone who insists on great precision and correctness (especially in the use of words);