pur·​pose·​ly ˈpər-pəs-lē How to pronounce purposely (audio)
: with a deliberate or express purpose

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 Allen purposely over-enunciated on the vocals to make certain that the message connected with the listener. Tom Roland, Billboard, 22 Nov. 2023 The auto lending arm of Japanese automaker Toyota illegally added insurance products on car loans, then purposely made removing those policies difficult for thousands of borrowers, a federal consumer watchdog agency said Monday. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 20 Nov. 2023 The gold-standard study, called a human challenge study, involves purposely giving people a dose of the pathogen. WIRED, 19 Nov. 2023 This is another teaching point about slavery and how plantation owners purposely kept enslaved Black people illiterate, and that was a way to keep them from resisting. Audarshia Townsend, Parents, 17 Nov. 2023 And because blue cats were purposely introduced in Virginia decades ago to boost recreational fishing opportunities, nobody wants to talk about how that was ultimately a boo-boo. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 16 Nov. 2023 Some, like Andy or his wife (Marling), are purposely hard to read, given that their smallest interactions reek of performativity. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Nov. 2023 Whether doing dumb impressions (my brother) or finding the humor in the cruel injustice of adulting (me); acting as joke-provider or purposely looking for something to laugh at. Emma Firth, Vogue, 14 Nov. 2023 You are purposely ostracized, excluded from important meetings and email chains, belittled in public with intimidating and aggressive behavior and are not provided psychological safety. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'purposely.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near purposely

Cite this Entry

“Purposely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purposely. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pur·​pose·​ly ˈpər-pəs-lē How to pronounce purposely (audio)
: with a clear or known purpose

Legal Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on purposely

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