purport

verb
pur·​port | \ (ˌ)pər-ˈpȯrt How to pronounce purport (audio) \
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 How to pronounce purport (audio) \

Definition of purport (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms for purport

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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 What's more, voters often don't reward candidates who purport to tell them hard truths. Susan Page, USA TODAY, "Democrats argue the case for nominee Biden as empathetic. Now what would President Biden do?," 20 Aug. 2020 For instance, some purport that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine—required for all school-age children—causes autism. Jillian Kramer, National Geographic, "COVID-19 vaccines could become mandatory. Here’s how it might work.," 19 Aug. 2020 There has been some understandable confusion over what Apple and Google purport to do. Gideon Lewis-kraus, Wired, "How to Make Government Trustworthy Again," 18 June 2020 Local agencies in all 50 states have issued their own warnings about the packages, which often purport to contain jewelry or ear buds, reports CNN's Harmeet Karu. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Americans Plant Mysterious Seeds Despite Government Warnings," 4 Aug. 2020 What causes people to draw ethical lines and purport to stand on principle? Samuel Moyn, The New Republic, "The Never Trumpers Have Already Won," 4 Aug. 2020 The same violence that permeates through all the institutions, systems, laws and policies that purport justice. Mimi Madrid, The Denver Post, "Madrid: Was the killing of Mendez Perez self-defense or moving target practice?," 5 July 2020 The truth is, there are plenty of hotels in the U.S. that purport to prioritize families, but some go above and beyond with kid- and adult-approved amenities and atmospheres. Alisha Prakash, Travel + Leisure, "25 Resorts in the U.S. That Are Perfect for Families," 8 July 2020 Tweaks to the engine mounts, seats, and active noise cancellation system purport to make the LS quieter than before. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "2021 Lexus LS Will Receive Styling and Infotainment Updates," 7 July 2020

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

1679, 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 entry 1, port

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Time Traveler for purport

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Purport.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purport. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for purport

purport

verb
How to pronounce purport (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of purport

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

purport

noun
How to pronounce purport (audio)

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

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

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Comments on purport

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