purge / pərj/ • v. [tr.] rid (someone) of an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition, typically giving a sense of cathartic release: Bob had helped purge Martha of the terrible guilt that had haunted her. ∎ remove (an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition) in such a way. ∎ remove (a group of people considered undesirable) from an organization or place, typically in an abrupt or violent manner: he purged all but 26 of the central committee members. ∎ remove someone from (an organization or place) in such a way: an opportunity to purge the party of unsatisfactory members. ∎ Law atone for or wipe out (contempt of court). ∎ physically remove (something) completely: a cold air blower purges residual solvents from the body. ∎ [intr.] [often as n.] (purging) evacuate one's bowels, esp. as a result of taking a laxative. • n. an abrupt or violent removal of a group of people from an organization or place: a purge of the ruling class is absolutely necessary the Stalinist purges. ∎ dated a laxative. DERIVATIVES: purg·er n.
A. make pure, cleanse, free from guilt XIV;
B. empty (the bowels) XV. — (O)F. purger :— L. purgāre purify, for pūrigāre, f. pūrus PURE.
So purgation XIV. — (O)F. or L. purgative XV. — (O)F. or late L. purgatory condition or place of spiritual purging. XIII. — AN. purgatorie, (O)F. purgatoire — medL. purgātōrium, sb. use of n. of late L. purgātōrius cleansing; hence purgatorial XV.
To exonerate someone; to clear someone of guilt, charges, or accusations.
Purging contempt is to clear an individual of contempt of court. This is generally accomplished by a formal apology to the court and the payment of a fine.