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 Intentionally eco-friendly Being purposeful and having a positive effect on the world is a personal tenet and part of Coulter’s business ethos. Jennifer E. Mabry, USA TODAY, 24 Apr. 2022 Subdued yet purposeful, Alan Yang's feature debut is a must-see. Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, 16 May 2022 And, whilst this trend is undoubtedly a pallet cleanser for our timelines, these images, staged and purposeful, are not only pleasing for the eye. Evie Muir, refinery29.com, 11 May 2022 Schedule meaningful and purposeful interactions several times a year. Scott Lerner, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 There is abundant research to show that employees of all ages want jobs that are not merely interesting and reasonably compensated, but meaningful and purposeful. Ranjay Gulati, Fortune, 8 Mar. 2022 Jenny Lumet co-wrote and executive produced the series with Alex Kurtzman and said having actors of color was purposeful. Lisa Respers France, CNN, 23 Apr. 2022 That is purposeful and is meant to offer a soft start to new users who may otherwise feel burdened by too many options, or bells and whistles. Nicole Gull Mcelroy, Fortune, 29 Mar. 2022 The angling of the walls is purposeful—tilting toward Wilshire Boulevard as a gesture of openness, but away from the temple out of ostensible deference (a move that actually calls attention to itself). Michael J. Lewis, WSJ, 24 Mar. 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

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The first known use of purposeful was in 1853

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Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Purposeful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purposeful. Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for purposeful


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


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