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purport

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noun pur·port \ˈpər-ˌpȯrt\

Definition of purport

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

purport was our Word of the Day on 04/06/2015. Hear the podcast!

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.

Recent Examples of purport from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'purport'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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


2

purport

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verb pur·port \(ˌ)pər-ˈpȯrt\

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

Recent Examples of purport from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'purport'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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.

First Known Use of purport

15th century


PURPORT Defined for English Language Learners

purport

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noun

Definition of purport for English Language Learners

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

purport

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verb

Definition of purport for English Language Learners

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



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