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

Because Prince Harry and Meghan are somewhat of a nontraditional royal couple who really value their privacy, details about the baby's birth were purposely few and far between until the big day. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Try Not to Cry Watching Prince Harry Glowing With Pride Over His New Son," 6 May 2019 Jacob, the youngest son of Matt and Amy, stepped away from the cameras in 2016 after accusing the show’s producers of purposely creating drama for ratings. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Jacob Roloff and Isabel Rock of 'Little People, Big World' Share Sad News About Their Wedding," 16 Apr. 2019 From purposely dressing in dainty and refined clothing to wearing a sash or a specific piece of jewelry — and later, a suit — these early style choices sent a message of solidarity. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "How The Wing Has Created a Retail Environment That Actually Helps Women," 21 Mar. 2019 The three implicated employees appear to have purposely misled the firm, but Goldman’s internal controls should have prevented that from happening. Aaron Back, WSJ, "Goldman Wakes Up to 1MDB Reckoning," 17 Nov. 2018 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

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

27 May 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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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