Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

purse

play
noun \ˈpərs\

Simple Definition of purse

  • : a usually leather or cloth bag used by women for carrying money and personal things

  • : an amount of money that a person, organization, or government has available to use

  • : an amount of money that is offered as a prize in a competition (such as a horse race, a golf tournament, or a boxing match)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of purse

  1. 1 a (1) :  a small bag for money (2) :  a receptacle (as a pocketbook) for carrying money and often other small objects b :  a receptacle (as a pouch) shaped like a purse

  2. 2 a :  resources, funds b :  a sum of money offered as a prize or present; also :  the total amount of money offered in prizes for a given event

purselike

play \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of purse in a sentence

  1. a golf tournament with a million dollar purse

  2. <I left my purse at home, so I can't buy anything after all.>



Origin and Etymology of purse

Middle English purs, from Old English, modification of Medieval Latin bursa, from Late Latin, ox hide, from Greek byrsa


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

purse

verb

Simple Definition of purse

  • : to form (your lips) into a tight circle or line

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of purse

pursed

pursing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to put into a purse

  3. 2 :  pucker, knit <pursed his brow>

Examples of purse in a sentence

  1. She pursed her lips in concentration.

  2. His lips were tightly pursed.



14th Century

First Known Use of purse

14th century

Rhymes with purse



PURSE Defined for Kids

1

purse

play
noun \ˈpərs\

Definition of purse for Students

  1. 1 :  a bag or pouch for money

  2. 2 :  handbag

  3. 3 :  the amount of money that a person, organization, or government has available for use

  4. 4 :  a sum of money offered as a prize or collected as a present




2

purse

play
verb

Definition of purse for Students

pursed

pursing

  1. :  to form into a tight circle or line <He … pursed his lips, and blew out a little air. — Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows>





Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a jerking and twitching of the body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

estival brumal vernal hiemal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ