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 p&umacron;rgat&omacron;rium, from Late Latin, means of purgation, from neuter of p&umacron;rgat&omacron;rius, cleansing, from Latin p&umacron;rgare, to cleanse; see purge.
(countable and uncountable, plural purgatories)