noun pur·pose \ˈpər-pəs\

: the reason why something is done or used : the aim or intention of something

: the feeling of being determined to do or achieve something

: the aim or goal of a person : what a person is trying to do, become, etc.

Full Definition of PURPOSE

a :  something set up as an object or end to be attained :  intention
b :  resolution, determination
:  a subject under discussion or an action in course of execution
on purpose
:  by intent :  intentionally

Examples of PURPOSE

  1. The purpose of the new resort is to attract more tourists.
  2. The loans are small but they serve a good purpose.
  3. Sometimes his life seemed to lack purpose or meaning.
  4. We started work again with a renewed sense of purpose.
  5. Shocking as it is, more than a month after the hurricane hit, New Orleans is still, for all practical purposes, a ghost town. —Tom Piazza, Why New Orleans Matters, 2005

Origin of PURPOSE

Middle English purpos, from Anglo-French, from purposer to intend, propose, from Latin proponere (perfect indicative proposui) to propose — more at propound
First Known Use: 14th century


verb pur·pose \ˈpər-pəs\

Definition of PURPOSE

transitive verb
:  to propose as an aim to oneself

Examples of PURPOSE

  1. <I've been purposing to fix that thing for some time now.>
  2. I have not purposed to misrepresent this boy in any way, for what little indignation he excited in me soon passed and left nothing behind it but compassion. —Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad, 1880

Origin of PURPOSE

(see 1purpose)
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to PURPOSE


Next Word in the Dictionary: purpose–builtPrevious Word in the Dictionary: purportlessAll Words Near: purpose
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