American English

Definition of purgatory noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1Purgatory (in Roman Catholic teaching) a place or state in which the souls of dead people suffer for the bad things they did when they were living, so that they can become pure enough to go to heaven
  2. 2(informal) (humorous) any place or state of suffering Getting up at four o'clock every morning is sheer purgatory.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: purgatory