purposive

adjective
pur·​po·​sive | \ ˈpər-pə-siv How to pronounce purposive (audio) , (ˌ)pər-ˈpō- How to pronounce purposive (audio) \

Definition of purposive

1 : serving or effecting a useful function though not as a result of planning or design
2 : having or tending to fulfill a conscious purpose or design : purposeful

Other Words from purposive

purposively adverb
purposiveness noun

Examples of purposive in a Sentence

facial tics and other unconscious movements that one would not normally call purposive actions
Recent Examples on the Web Sporadic outbursts of feeling are converted into purposive and unremitting activity. Aldous Huxley, Harper's Magazine, 17 Aug. 2021 In this sense, history is not only rational but also providential: designed, purposive, teleological. James Wood, The New Yorker, 25 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'purposive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of purposive

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for purposive

Time Traveler

The first known use of purposive was in 1849

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Dictionary Entries Near purposive

purposer

purposive

purposivism

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Cite this Entry

“Purposive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purposive. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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