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First element related to pure, Old French pur, or to Old French pur-, second element to blind. The original sense was “wholly blind”; the meaning has been modified, perhaps through confusion with the verb pore.


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɜː(ɹ)blaɪnd/


purblind (comparative more purblind, superlative most purblind)

  1. Partially blind.
  2. Near-sighted or dim-sighted.
  3. Lacking in discernment or understanding.
    • 1859, Alfred Tennyson, “Enid”, in Idylls of the King, London: Edward Moxon & Co., [], →OCLC, pages 45–46:
      O purblind race of miserable men, / How many among us at this very hour / Do forge a life-long trouble for ourselves. / By taking true for false, or false for true.
    • 1951, Isaac Asimov, chapter 16, in Foundation, (1974 Panther Books Ltd publication), part 5: “The Merchant Princes”, page 180, ¶ 9:
      [“]You had another of your vacillating consultations with your councillors. Fine advisers.” With infinite scorn, “A herd of palsied purblind idiots hugging their sterile profits close to their sunken chests in the face of my father’s displeasure.”
    • 1959 April 21, Walt Kelly, Pogo, comic strip, →ISBN, page 34:
      [Deacon Mushrat to Pogo:] The public is the pupae of the purposely purblind...
    • 2002, John Waller, The Discovery of the Germ, Introduction, page 4, ¶ 2:
      Finally, between 1880 and 1900, an explosive burst of experimental activity at last drove home the truth of germ theory to all but the most purblind of critics.
    Synonym: obtuse


See also[edit]