purport

verb
pur·​port | \(ˌ)pər-ˈpȯrt \
purported; purporting; purports

Definition of purport 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

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

purport

noun
pur·​port | \ˈpər-ˌpȯrt \

Definition of purport (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Did You Know?

Noun

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.

Examples of purport in a Sentence

Verb

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

Noun

the purport of the book The letter was not read aloud, but all present were informed of its purport.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The federal prosecutor’s office, run by governing party loyalists, released a video purporting to show Anaya and supporters behaving rudely in a visit to the agency. Washington Post, "Mexico’s Anaya hopes to narrow gap in presidential race," 25 June 2018 In one case, an account that purports to be an ASU alumnus named Sam Parsons uses a photo of a kitchen designer from New Zealand with the same name. Richard Ruelas, azcentral, "Dozens of likely fake Twitter accounts are supporting Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's re-election," 20 June 2018 But the real Doug Kenney died in 1980, and the narrator who purports to be Kenney today is actually actor Martin Mull. Gabrielle Bruney, Esquire, "Netflix's New Film Tells the Story Behind 'Animal House' and 'Caddyshack'," 23 Dec. 2017 And those dozen or so Facebook profiles purporting to be her? Justin Jacobs, Indianapolis Star, "Greenwood teen has 3M Musical.ly fans. But after being bullied, she goes to school alone," 6 July 2018 If someone purporting to be Nakamoto were to move one of those coins to a different address or sign something with keys that only Satoshi has, that would be a pretty good form of verification. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "Did Satoshi Nakamoto Write This Book Excerpt? A Wired Investigation," 1 July 2018 Longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen said Wednesday that a document released by Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti purporting to show payments Cohen received from various entities contains numerous inaccuracies. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Michael Cohen disputes report of alleged payments released by Stormy Daniels attorney," 9 May 2018 As Refinery29 reported, fans have been taking to social media with photo evidence purporting to show that Chung and Stormi are, in fact, related. Emily Wang, Allure, "People Think Kylie Jenner's Hot Bodyguard Is Stormi's Father, Which Is Quite the Conspiracy Theory," 7 May 2018 To try to reinforce its version of events, the IDF has also released video footage purporting to show two Palestinian men with assault rifles trying to break through the Israeli border fence last Friday night. Jennifer Williams, Vox, "The recent violence at the Gaza-Israel border, explained," 6 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of purport

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for purport

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, content, tenor, from purporter to carry, mean, purport, from pur- thoroughly + porter to carry — more at purchase, port

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Dictionary Entries near purport

purplish

purply

purpoint

purport

purported

purportedly

purportless

Statistics for purport

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for purport

The first known use of purport was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for purport

purport

noun

English Language Learners Definition of purport

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

purport

verb

English Language Learners Definition of purport (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Comments on purport

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