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 Protest is a noble exercise in free expression conducted in a purposely public display to advance an argument against a policy or a condition. John Brummett, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | JOHN BRUMMETT: A primer on protest," 18 Jan. 2021 The Fair Park site was purposely chosen to make sure underserved communities had easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Eric Johnson, Dallas News, "Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson blasts county after walkups allowed at COVID-19 vaccine mega site," 14 Jan. 2021 That differentiates it from the type of gear that professional first responders might don when purposely entering a hot zone. Rob Verger, Popular Science, "Those ‘gas masks’ at the Capitol were actually escape hoods," 11 Jan. 2021 During his work in Afghanistan helping non-governmental organizations operate in conflict zones, Meijer purposely stopped using his prominent last name to avoid having a bigger target for a bounty kidnapping. Marisa Schultz, Fox News, "Rep. Peter Meijer, Iraq veteran, says US needs to plan for future: 'I'm very worried about long-term trends'," 10 Jan. 2021 Prior to testing positive for the virus, Gobert purposely touched press conference microphones as a joke, a moment captured on video. Vulture Editors, Vulture, "All the Celebrities Who Have Tested Positive for the Coronavirus," 9 Jan. 2021 Cousins purposely threw the ball too high to avoid a defender. Mark Craig, Star Tribune, "Vikings' Justin Jefferson brings the swagger to Rookie of the Year competition," 24 Dec. 2020 Outside his New York museum, Barnum purposely hired an awful brass band to play continuously. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, "Is it true that a sucker is born every minute? The Watchdog takes a look," 24 Dec. 2020 One West Village vendor dresses her American boyfriend in a faux-Quebecois lumberjack getup; in another part of the Village, a French-Canadian vendor with perfect English purposely thickens his accent to add to his paysan image. Kevin Cabrera, Fortune, "Even COVID can’t stop New York City’s sidewalk Christmas tree vendors," 24 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for purposely

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for purposely

Last Updated

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Purposely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purposely. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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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

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