pur·​pose·​ful | \ ˈpər-pəs-fəl How to pronounce purposeful (audio) \

Definition of purposeful

1 : having a purpose: such as
a : meaningful purposeful activities
b : intentional purposeful ambiguity
2 : full of determination was soft-spoken but purposeful

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Other Words from purposeful

purposefully \ ˈpər-​pəs-​fə-​lē How to pronounce purposeful (audio) \ 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 The move has been purposeful to ensure that nothing is visible outside of the private estate, ensuring that members of the public choose to safely stay at home and follow the event on television or radio. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Buckingham Palace Announces Prince Philip's Funeral Arrangements," 15 Apr. 2021 However, busyness can sometimes get in the way of purposeful collaboration across an organization. Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, "Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips to Improve Collaboration and Move Your Business Forward," 8 Apr. 2021 These brands need to be super-focus on their niche with tight purposeful assortments, high margins, agility and create a personalized shopping experience that will indulge their customers. Angela Chan, Forbes, "The Road To Retail Recovery: Get Local," 8 Apr. 2021 These involve purposeful adventure and social impact experiences, such as learning alternative healing practices from indigenous communities. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, "How Two Organizations Are Using Sailboats and Yachts as Tools for Therapy," 5 Apr. 2021 The result is, purposeful or not, a portrait of our current President as the ultimate Patriarch. Seija Rankin, EW.com, "Hunter Biden’s Beautiful Things is an unflinchingly honest look inside the First Family: Review," 1 Apr. 2021 The governor said an internal review didn’t find any purposeful intent to cover up data. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Music festivals, Opening Day, casino clinics: News from around our 50 states," 1 Apr. 2021 Poeltl made one of two in his first purposeful trip to the line, but then airballed both attempts on his next foray. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "The triple take: Spurs 120, Kings 106," 31 Mar. 2021 Labyrinths fuse the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering, purposeful path. BostonGlobe.com, "Walking in circles is healthy at these four local labyrinths," 26 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'purposeful.' 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 purposeful

1853, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for purposeful

Time Traveler

The first known use of purposeful was in 1853

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Statistics for purposeful

Last Updated

27 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Purposeful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purposeful. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for purposeful



English Language Learners Definition of purposeful

: having a clear aim or purpose


pur·​pose·​ful | \ ˈpər-pəs-fəl How to pronounce purposeful (audio) \

Kids Definition of purposeful

: having a clear intention or aim

Other Words from purposeful

purposefully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb
purposefulness noun

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Comments on purposeful

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