pur·​pose·​ly | \ ˈpər-pəs-lē How to pronounce purposely (audio) \

Definition of purposely

: with a deliberate or express purpose

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Examples of purposely in a Sentence

the real estate agent purposely withheld information that would have discouraged us from buying the property
Recent Examples on the Web Some historians believe that, in the mid-eighteenth century, colonists purposely gave Native Americans blankets infected with smallpox. Ana Santos Rutschman, The Conversation, "Salad bars and water systems are easy targets for bioterrorists – and America’s monitoring system is woefully inadequate," 7 Nov. 2019 The study suggested the rats purposely targeted the bigger cane toads - who only make up 2.5 percent of the toad population in the area while making up 74 percent of the carcasses found, according to the Guardian. Fox News, "Australian water rats have learned to eat invasive poisonous toads with 'surgical precision'," 28 Oct. 2019 According to The New York Times, the men claimed that the city purposely transferred them from Rikers Island to a jail upstate, knowing that they would be beaten and placed in solitary confinement at their new location. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "New York City Reaches $980,000 Settlement With Young Detainees Who Were Beaten, Forced Into Solitary Confinement," 21 Oct. 2019 The five-year National Institutes of Health grant will fund compiling an atlas of the neural circuitry that controls how mice purposely control their forelimb movements. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Salk Institute team gets $14.3 million grant to understand spinal cord injuries affecting arms," 18 Oct. 2019 At times the band appeared to be purposely shooting themselves in their Les Pauls. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Must-read Black Crowes memoir is ‘Hard to Handle’," 17 Oct. 2019 The only other instance of a media personality with a sizable platform purposely spoiling a film, pre-social media, occurred in 2004 when Million Dollar Baby was released, according to Greene. Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, "When Rosie O'Donnell Spoiled 'Fight Club' on Her Show for Millions of Viewers," 15 Oct. 2019 On Monday, President Donald Trump suggested, without evidence, that Kurdish forces may have purposely released some Islamic State prisoners amid the fighting to prevent U.S. troops from withdrawing from the region. Anchorage Daily News, "Syrian troops enter towns in northeast as Erdogan warns of wider offensive," 14 Oct. 2019 The Camden Bench, named for the northwest London neighborhood that commissioned them, is purposely made to be uncomfortable. Anne Quito, Quartzy, "Behold, London’s most thrilling public bench," 24 Sep. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for purposely

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for purposely

The first known use of purposely was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for purposely


How to pronounce purposely (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of purposely

: in a way that is planned or intended : in a deliberate way


pur·​pose·​ly | \ ˈpər-pəs-lē How to pronounce purposely (audio) \

Kids Definition of purposely

: with a clear or known aim Timothy was not purposely trying to frighten me …; he was just being honest.— Theodore Taylor, The Cay



Legal Definition of purposely

: with a deliberate, conscious, or express purpose : intentionally

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Comments on purposely

What made you want to look up purposely? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a calculated move

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