pur·​pose·​ly | \ˈpər-pəs-lē \

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

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 And there’s films like 500 Days of Summer (2009), which are aware of the rails on which romcoms normally run and purposely run off of them. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Netflix’s totally delightful Set It Up proves just how durable the romcom formula is," 29 June 2018 There are multiple rooms that visitors need to navigate which include workstations and stored parts on display, (purposely) dingy hallways, and two pre-show presentations. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "Universal's Virtual Line revamps queues for attractions," 13 June 2018 Investigators believe second-floor resident Thomas Kim purposely set a fire to draw the firefighters there. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "77-year-old resident arrested after firefighter shot and killed at retirement home in Long Beach," 26 June 2018 The Helms hadn't purposely set out to create a fire-safety zone. Anne Ryman, azcentral, "Granite Mountain Hotshots: An untold story from the day 19 firefighters died," 23 June 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

9 Dec 2018

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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 \

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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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