Middle English Dictionary Entry

purǧen v.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) To purify or cleanse (sth.), make clean or pure; rid (the Church, the Temple, a town) of objectionable persons or things; (b) to purify (metal) by fire, refine; also fig.; scour (metal), remove rust & corrosion from (metal); (c) to clean (wheat), winnow; -- also without obj.; (d) to clear (land) of brush, trees, etc.; strip (sth.), remove (stalks) from a plant; also, prune or trim (a vine, a tree); also fig.
(a) To cleanse (sb.) from sin or moral defilement, free from guilt; purify (one's heart, soul, mind); also, chastise (sb.), punish; refl. purify (oneself) of sin or guilt; ppl. purged, purified, free from moral defect; ~ of (from), free (sb.) from (sin, etc.); (b) to purify (sb., the soul) spiritually, raise in degree of spiritual perfection; also, test or prove (sb.) [quot.: Elucid.]; fir purginge, purginge meknesse, purifying fire (meekness); (c) to take away (sin), remove (guilt); expiate (sin, iniquity); purged sinnes, expiated sins; (d) to make expiation or reparation for (sth.); make atonement; (e) to purify (sb. or sth.) ritually or ceremonially; lustrate or cleanse (a temple); fig. purify by vengeance; ~ forth, ritually cleanse (oneself) beforehand.
Law To clear (oneself) from accusation or charge, exculpate, vindicate; acquit (sb.), clear from suspicion, exonerate; clear (someone's reputation);
Med. (a) To purge (sb., the body) by a laxative, a diuretic, or an emetic; -- also refl.; also fig.; also, clear (the stomach) through complete digestion; cleanse (the body, a bodily organ) of morbid matter or evil humors by natural processes; ben purged, be purged of ill humors, be given a purgative; ~ of floures, cleanse (a woman) of her menstrual discharge; (b) ~ aboven and binethen (binethen and aboven), to purge (sb.) by vomiting and by evacuation of the bowels; ~ stomak (wombe), vomit, purge the stomach by regurgitation; ~ the stoppinge of the stomak, relieve constipation; ~ of blod, bleed (sb.), phlebotomize; (c) to purge (a humor, evil humors), eliminate (morbid matter, toxins, digested matter, fecal matter); ~ superfluitees, eliminate excessive humors; ~ disese (passioun, siknesse), treat a sickness or bodily disorder with a purgative; (d) to eliminate morbid matter, purge evil humors; ~ bi the urine, purge through urination; ~ bi the wombe, ~ with vomit, ~ upward, purge by regurgitation; ~ dounward, purge by defecation; (e) to cleanse (a wound, a sore, the eyes); clear (the head, brain) of evil humors.
(a) To evacuate (the bowels), void (excrement, urine); (b) refl. to defecate; of feces: evacuate themselves; (c) fig. to get rid of spiritual waste.
In phr. ~ plight, to relieve distress, remove hardship.