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noun pur·port \ˈpər-ˌpȯrt\

Simple Definition of purport

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of purport

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

Examples of purport in a sentence

  1. the purport of the book

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

Origin and Etymology 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

Rhymes with purport

abort, airport, amort, aport, assort, athwart, backcourt, bellwort, birthwort, bistort, blood sport, Bridgeport, carport, cavort, cohort, colewort, comport, consort, contort, crosscourt, deport, disport, distort, downcourt, effort, escort, exhort, export, extort, fall short, figwort, forecourt, for short, free port, frontcourt, glasswort, Gosport, Gulfport, half-court, homeport, home port, in short, jetport, lousewort, lungwort, madwort, milkwort, mugwort, Newport, outport, passport, presort, ragwort, report, re-sort, resort, retort, sandwort, seaport, sell short, Shreveport, spaceport, spearwort, spoilsport, Stockport, support, toothwort, transport



verb pur·port \(ˌ)pər-ˈpȯrt\

Simple Definition of purport

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of purport

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  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>

  3. 2 :  intend, purpose

Examples of purport in a sentence

  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>

Did You Know?

The verb purport may be more familiar nowadays, but the noun purport (a synonym of gist, as in gave the purport of her speech in a few words) is a bit older. The noun passed into English from Anglo-French in the mid 1400s. Anglo-French also had the verb purporter (meaning both to carry and to mean), which itself combined the prefix pur- (thoroughly) and the verb porter (to carry). But English speakers apparently waited another seven decades to employ the verb. The first recorded use of purport as a verb doesn't appear until 1528.

15th Century

First Known Use of purport

15th century

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up purport? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an indentation on an edge or a surface

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