Purgatory is a place or state of being where people exist temporarily to admit their sins or receive punishment.
An example of purgatory is the place between heaven and hell where a soul's ultimate fate is decided.
- Theol. a state or place in which, in Roman Catholicism and other Christian doctrine, those who have died in the grace of God expiate their sins by suffering
- any state or place of temporary punishment, expiation, or remorse
Origin of purgatoryMiddle English purgatorie ; from Old French and amp; ML(Ec): Old French purgatoire ; from Ecclesiastical Medieval Latin purgatorium ; from Late Latin purgatorius, cleansing ; from Classical Latin purgare: see purge
- Roman Catholic Church A state in which the souls of those who have died in grace must expiate their sins.
- A place or condition of suffering, expiation, or remorse: a purgatory of drug abuse.
Tending to cleanse or purge.
Origin of purgatoryMiddle English purgatorie, from Old French purgatoire, from Medieval Latin pūrgātōrium, from Late Latin, means of purgation, from neuter of pūrgātōrius, cleansing, from Latin pūrgāre, to cleanse; see purge.
(countable and uncountable, plural purgatories)