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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Another scheme shut down by Texas regulators featured a photo of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and former U.S. solicitors general as the ICO’s purported legal team. Gabriel T. Rubin, WSJ, "Facebook to Accept Cryptocurrency Ads Again," 26 June 2018 The brand purports that the new foundations, which have a minimalist label, don’t crack, cake, or settle into fine lines, and are transfer-proof. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "CoverGirl Launched a New Foundation Line With 40 Shades," 17 May 2018 The account’s name and biography do not purport to represent Bynes. Elizabeth Leonard, PEOPLE.com, "Amanda Bynes 'Terrorized' by Imposter Twitter Accounts 'Mocking Mental Illness,' Says Lawyer," 11 Apr. 2018 The Safe app, for example, purports to allow users to share verified information about their STD status from labs where they’ve been tested as securely as their banking information. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Grindr is revealing its users’ HIV status to third-party companies," 2 Apr. 2018 Recent videos purport to show him fighting migrants in Italy and being attacked by masked men outside a London McDonalds. Fox News, "A dream of uniting UK soccer fans swerves to the far right," 3 June 2018 The Mann Act purported to prevent human trafficking for the purpose of prostitution, but critics have argued it was applied inconsistently to criminalize African Americans and those with dissenting political views. Jennifer Hansler, CNN, "Trump posthumously pardons heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson," 24 May 2018 Amateur video taken on the Gaza side of the fence purported to show him shot while running with other youths, apparently empty-handed. Isabel Kershner And Iyad Abuheweila, New York Times, "Gaza Protest Draws Fewer People but Remains Deadly," 20 Apr. 2018 The map purported to show the location of a marijuana garden in the forest of nearby Point Reyes National Seashore. sacbee, "Why is 420 associated with pot? Blame it on this group of high-school stoners | The Sacramento Bee," 20 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about purport

Listen to Our Podcast about purport

Dictionary Entries near purport

purplish

purply

purpoint

purport

purported

purportedly

purportless

Statistics for purport

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for purport

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on purport

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!