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

For her new Vogue cover photo shoot, Beyoncé purposely chose not to get glammed up. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "Beyoncé Talked About Her FUPA and Body Image in "Vogue"," 6 Aug. 2018 The difference is that in almost every case, the presidents weren't purposely lying. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Donald Trump said 35 things that weren't true in his Nashville rally. 35!," 1 June 2018 Some Democrats also are worried the White House is purposely slow-walking liberal nominees to the positions, particularly Ms. Lee, whose name has been pending with the Trump administration for several months. Andrew Ackerman, WSJ, "Democratic Picks for Agencies Are Latest Shutdown Casualty," 18 Jan. 2019 Alternate Routes Some Uber and Lyft drivers are purposely taking longer routes to collect more money, as in these examples. Greg Bensinger, WSJ, "Uber Drivers Take Riders the Long Way—at Uber’s Expense," 13 Aug. 2018 Offset, who is on tour with Migos, purposely took the day off to make an appearance at Scott’s show—call it a thank you for Scott’s Moschino dress a pregnant Cardi wore to the Met Gala. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "New York Fashion Week Is Celebrities’s Hottest Date Night," 7 Sep. 2018 The company is going all-in on electric technology after it was discovered in 2015 that Volkswagen was purposely making its diesel cars cheat emissions tests. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Automakers are tapping nostalgia to promote electric cars — and it’s working," 25 Aug. 2018 The Pentagon has repeatedly said that the Islamic State purposely put civilians in the line of fire and often tried to draw American fire on heavily populated areas, resulting in unintended civilian casualties. Washington Post, "How American neglect imperils the victory over ISIS," 19 Apr. 2018 The Saints passer waited nearly two months later to strut his stuff against a Carolina team purposely putting the ball in Brees' hands. Larry Holder, NOLA.com, "Drew Brees' playoff experience provides Saints one advantage heading into NFC Divisional round," 10 Jan. 2018

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

1 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for purposely

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

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More Definitions for purposely



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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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