pur·​pose·​ful | \ ˈpər-pəs-fəl \

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 \ 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

Collina Strada’s prismatic gazes celebrated creative freedom and imperfection while still feeling purposeful and fun. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "This Tie-Dye Eye Makeup Will Take You From Fashion Week to Summer Music Festivals," 8 Feb. 2019 Many forms of yoga utilize specific breathing techniques, teaching you how to breathe in a purposeful way. Laura Schwecherl, SELF, "Why All Runners Should Consider Adding Yoga to Their Routines," 15 Jan. 2019 Having facts, versus anecdotal evidence, is important to creating purposeful design solutions. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The future of urban mobility will be shaped by these six issues," 18 Dec. 2018 Is this a purposeful Easter egg, a treat planned to delight the most avid royal watchers? Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Did Kate Middleton Wear the Same Thing in This Year's Christmas Card as in the One from 2015?," 14 Dec. 2018 That empowered me as an individual to live a purposeful life, working for the greater good, instead of being a victim. Courtney Lund O’neil, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Serial Killer, a Receipt, and My Mom: Haunted by the Murder of 33 Boys," 31 Oct. 2018 By contrast, the Folio's use of leather feels much more purposeful. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Hands-on: HP’s leather-clad laptop might just be the best convertible around," 1 Oct. 2018 But somewhere on the way to Russia, that patient approach was surpassed by something more purposeful. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Biggest Takeaways From the 2018 World Cup," 16 July 2018 Colleges and universities must be more purposeful in demonstrating our value to our communities. Margee Ensign, Washington Post, "Civic engagement and the value of college," 23 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for purposeful

The first known use of purposeful was in 1853

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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 \

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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