\ ˈpərs How to pronounce purse (audio) \

Definition of purse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a small bag for money
(2) : a receptacle (such as a pocketbook) for carrying money and often other small objects
b : a receptacle (such as a pouch) shaped like a purse
b : a sum of money offered as a prize or present also : the total amount of money offered in prizes for a given event


pursed; pursing

Definition of purse (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to put into a purse
2 : pucker, knit pursed his brow

Other Words from purse


purselike \ ˈpərs-​ˌlīk How to pronounce purse (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for purse

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of purse in a Sentence

Noun a golf tournament with a million dollar purse I left my purse at home, so I can't buy anything after all. Verb She pursed her lips in concentration. His lips were tightly pursed.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun However, Jones did have her grandson's rent money in her purse. Emmett Jones, Fox News, 26 Apr. 2022 The store manager reported that a woman, about 65 years of age, was seen stealing $85 worth of merchandise by concealing items in her purse. cleveland, 17 Mar. 2022 By then, more than 20 years had passed since she was caught with seven ecstasy pills in her purse, and more than 16 since a resultant conviction triggered a final order of deportation. Washington Post, 1 May 2022 Available in over a dozen bright and fun colors, this option is waterproof and designed to be packed in your purse for unpredictable weather. Raena Loper, Good Housekeeping, 22 Apr. 2022 Smith also agreed to carry the gun used in her purse. Alex Mann, Baltimore Sun, 29 Mar. 2022 After killing his mother, Scoggin took her purse and stole her vehicle, Covington said. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, 12 Mar. 2022 Katie Marie Bowling and police found Xanax and methamphetamine in her purse, documents state. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 25 Feb. 2022 Bew Jirajariyawetch was waiting for a subway train in New York City when a man grabbed her from behind, assaulted her and took her purse. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, 17 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of purse


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for purse


Middle English purs, from Old English, modification of Medieval Latin bursa, from Late Latin, ox hide, from Greek byrsa

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Time Traveler for purse

Time Traveler

The first known use of purse was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near purse

pur sang


purse bearer

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Statistics for purse

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Purse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purse. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for purse


\ ˈpərs How to pronounce purse (audio) \

Kids Definition of purse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a bag or pouch for money
2 : handbag
3 : the amount of money that a person, organization, or government has available for use
4 : a sum of money offered as a prize or collected as a present


pursed; pursing

Kids Definition of purse (Entry 2 of 2)

: to form into a tight circle or line He … pursed his lips, and blew out a little air.— Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows

More from Merriam-Webster on purse

Nglish: Translation of purse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purse for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about purse


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