noun pur·port \ˈpər-ˌprt\

: the main or general meaning of something (such as a speech or a person's actions)

Full Definition of PURPORT

:  meaning conveyed, professed, or implied :  import; also :  substance, gist

Examples of PURPORT

  1. the purport of the book
  2. The letter was not read aloud, but all present were informed of its purport.

Origin of PURPORT

Middle English, from Anglo-French, content, tenor, from purporter to carry, mean, purport, from pur- thoroughly + porter to carry — more at purchase, port
First Known Use: 15th century


verb pur·port \(ˌ)pər-ˈprt\

: to claim to be or do a particular thing when this claim may not be true

Full Definition of PURPORT

transitive verb
:  to have the often specious appearance of being, intending, or claiming (something implied or inferred) <a book that purports to be an objective analysis>; also :  claim <foreign novels which he purports to have translated — Mary McCarthy>

Examples of PURPORT

  1. <do you purport to spend the rest of your life on that couch, or do you think you might get a job someday?>
  2. <he purports to be an expert in criminalistics>

First Known Use of PURPORT

15th century


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