pur·​pose·​ful ˈpər-pəs-fəl How to pronounce purposeful (audio)
: having a purpose: such as
: meaningful
purposeful activities
: intentional
purposeful ambiguity
: full of determination
was soft-spoken but purposeful
purposefully adverb
purposefulness noun

Examples of purposeful in a Sentence

a soft-spoken but purposeful criminal investigator there's a difference between a purposeful lie and an accidental untruth
Recent Examples on the Web Employees and recruits increasingly want a hybrid home-and-office work model, including purposeful work with learning opportunities. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 21 Feb. 2024 But on pitches that missed the heart of the zone Friday, Ohtani either laid off — a rare trait Ebel said spoke to the hitter’s efficient approach and purposeful work ethic — or made a quick and powerful adjustment in the box, sending them sailing through a bright morning sky all the same. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 16 Feb. 2024 Customers can easily peer into the kitchen, and that’s purposeful, Harris said. Jenna Thompson, Kansas City Star, 22 Jan. 2024 Among other things, Andrews struggled to initiate the offense with purposeful passes and missed shot after shot. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 5 Feb. 2024 The action is purposeful and brisk, but unrushed, as if practice had long ago made perfect. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2024 Here are a few finds that were transformed into attractive and purposeful ways to store jewelry, makeup and accessories. Clare Miers, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 31 Jan. 2024 Plus, Scott’s staff appears to have quelled the near-hysteria over squeegee guys with a plan that combined zero tolerance with purposeful outreach to the squeegee-wielding boys and young men who for years tried to make a few bucks from motorists at busy intersections. Dan Rodricks, Baltimore Sun, 16 Jan. 2024 Written by English playwright Duncan Macmillan with its original performer, Jonny Donahoe, the play involves a lot of audience interaction, but in a uniquely beautiful, purposeful way. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, 5 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'purposeful.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1853, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of purposeful was in 1853

Dictionary Entries Near purposeful

Cite this Entry

“Purposeful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purposeful. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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