purposeful

adjective
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

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 Starting the series with two Black women who were mothers on the West Side was purposeful to highlight violence against women, Brown said. Paige Fry, Chicago Tribune, 29 Apr. 2022 Many high-growth brands are themselves highly purposeful. Ella Robertson-mckay, Fortune, 9 Feb. 2022 So how can a sports sponsorship be authentically purposeful? Mirella Vitale, Forbes, 11 June 2021 The success of your customer insights comes from asking good, clear and purposeful questions. Aileen Day, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 The film is meditative and intentional, slow but purposeful, and at once a rumination on artificial intelligence and a contemplation of humanity. Kathleen Newman-bremang, refinery29.com, 6 Mar. 2022 Biden is bringing America out of the wilderness through intentional and purposeful leadership, after four years of disastrous leadership that made democracy appealingly vulnerable to attack. CNN, 2 Mar. 2022 Names contain magic, as Koreans seem to know, and the selection of a name—an invocation of sorts—should be considered and purposeful. Christopher Hwisu Kim, The New Yorker, 13 Feb. 2022 Busy and purposeful teens and young adults fight with one another less. Washington Post, 26 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of purposeful

1853, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About purposeful

Time Traveler for purposeful

Time Traveler

The first known use of purposeful was in 1853

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near purposeful

purposedly

purposeful

purposeless

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for purposeful

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Purposeful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purposeful. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for purposeful

purposeful

adjective
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

More from Merriam-Webster on purposeful

Nglish: Translation of purposeful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purposeful for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!