What does Purgatory mean?

Definitions for Purgatory
ˈpɜr gəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr ipur·ga·to·ry

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Purgatory.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. purgatorynoun

    a temporary condition of torment or suffering

    "a purgatory of drug abuse"

  2. purgatorynoun

    (theology) in Roman Catholic theology the place where those who have died in a state of grace undergo limited torment to expiate their sins


  1. purgatorynoun

    In Catholicism, the stage of the afterlife where souls suffer for their sins before they can enter heaven

  2. purgatorynoun

    any situation causing suffering

  3. Etymology: From purgatorium. Cognate to English purge.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Purgatorynoun

    A place in which souls are supposed by the papists to be purged by fire from carnal impurities, before they are received into heaven.

    Etymology: purgatoire, Fr. purgatorium, Lat.

    Thou thy folk, through pains of purgatory,
    Dost bear unto thy bliss. Edmund Spenser, Hymn on Love.

    In this age, there may be as great instances produced of real charity, as when men thought to get souls out of purgatory. Edward Stillingfleet.


  1. Purgatory

    Purgatory is Iron Maidens fifth single, released on 15 June 1981, and would be their last with singer Paul Di'Anno. It served as the second single from Killers, though the preceding single, "Twilight Zone", was not included on the album's original pressings outside from the US. The single was reissued in 1990, on the same CD and 12" vinyl as the EP Maiden Japan, in the First Ten Years box set.


  1. Purgatory

    Purgatory is a spiritual concept in various religious belief systems, commonly associated with the afterlife. It refers to a state or place of purification, temporary suffering, or spiritual cleansing endured by souls before they can enter into the final, perfected state of existence, such as heaven or nirvana. In this intermediate realm, individuals may undergo purification to remove remaining sins, faults, or attachments, with the ultimate goal of achieving spiritual purity and union with the divine. The duration and nature of purgatory differ among different religious traditions and interpretations.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Purgatoryadjective

    tending to cleanse; cleansing; expiatory

  2. Purgatorynoun

    a state or place of purification after death; according to the Roman Catholic creed, a place, or a state believed to exist after death, in which the souls of persons are purified by expiating such offenses committed in this life as do not merit eternal damnation, or in which they fully satisfy the justice of God for sins that have been forgiven. After this purgation from the impurities of sin, the souls are believed to be received into heaven

  3. Etymology: [L. purgatorius.]


  1. Purgatory

    Purgatory is, according to Roman Catholic teaching, the state or place of purification or temporary punishment by which those who die in a state of grace are believed to be made ready for the Beatific Vision in Heaven. Only one who dies in a state of grace can be in Purgatory, and therefore no one who is in Purgatory will remain there forever or go to Hell. This theological notion has ancient roots and is well-attested in early Christian literature, but the poetic conception of Purgatory as a geographically existing place is largely the creation of medieval Christian piety and imagination. The notion of Purgatory is associated particularly with the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church; Anglicans of the Anglo-Catholic tradition generally also hold to the belief, along with many Lutherans of High Church Lutheranism. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, believed in an intermediate state between death and the final judgment and in the possibility of "continuing to grow in holiness there." The Eastern Orthodox Churches believe in the possibility of a change of situation for the souls of the dead through the prayers of the living and the offering of the Divine Liturgy, and many Orthodox, especially among ascetics, hope and pray for a general apocatastasis. A similar belief in at least the possibility of a final salvation for all is held by Mormonism. Judaism also believes in the possibility of after-death purification and may even use the word "purgatory" to present its understanding of the meaning of Gehenna. However, the concept of soul "purification" may be explicitly denied in these other faith traditions.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Purgatory

    in the creed of the Church of Rome a place in which the souls of the dead, saved from hell by the death of Christ, are chastened and purified from venial sins, a result which is, in great part, ascribed to the prayers of the faithful and the sacrifice of the Mass. The creed of the Church in this matter was first formulated by Gregory the Great, and was based by him, as it has been vindicated since, on passages of Scripture as well as the writings of the Fathers. The conception of it, as wrought out by Dante, Carlyle considers "a noble embodiment of a true noble thought." See his "Heroes."

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. purgatory

    Two telephone systems in one town.

How to pronounce Purgatory?

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Purgatory in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Purgatory in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of Purgatory in a Sentence

  1. Dejan Stojanovic:

    History will be erased in the universal purgatory.

  2. David Park:

    We are usually stuck in purgatory because we can’t invest in the highest-growth non-dividend payers and we aren’t interested in the lowest quality stocks either, we’re ... waiting for more opportunities like this.

  3. Elizabeth Grymeston:

    A fair woman is a paradise to the eye, a purgatory to the purse, and a hell to the soul.

  4. Abraham Lincoln:

    Neither Heaven nor Hell. It is simply Purgatory.

  5. Democratic Leader Harry Reid:

    Ms. Lynch's nomination will not remain in purgatory forever.

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Translations for Purgatory

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"Purgatory." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Purgatory>.

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    incapable of being atoned for
    • A. sesquipedalian
    • B. dicotyledonous
    • C. inexpiable
    • D. tantamount

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