purse

noun
\ 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

purse

verb
pursed; pursing

Definition of purse (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from purse

Noun

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

Synonyms for purse

Synonyms: Noun

bag, handbag, pocketbook

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Like the tiny dogs in designer purses popular in the '00s, mini pigs are having a bit of a moment. Marygrace Taylor, Good Housekeeping, "8 Things You Should Know Before Adopting a Mini Pig," 12 July 2018 In the key kidnapping scene, a prop gun that was supposed to be stowed in a purse was nowhere to be found. Matthew J. Palm, OrlandoSentinel.com, "'9 to 5' has to work a little harder in 2018," 21 Apr. 2018 An officer found the remains of a marijuana cigarette in the vehicle and a bag of marijuana in the woman's purse during a search, according to the report. Jennifer James, Houston Chronicle, "Friendswood police release photo of suspects linked to Kroger counterfeit case," 25 Mar. 2018 The firing comes after a student discovered marijuana in Schwister's purse Feb. 1. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Germantown middle school teacher who was caught with marijuana has been fired," 9 Mar. 2018 Our purses can already do just about everything, including carrying our must-have essentials and tying an entire outfit together. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2020 Collection Includes Purses with Television Screens," 10 May 2019 LeBron James picked up his purse and stormed off the interview with pum pum shorts like Angela Bassett in waiting to exhale. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "NBA Finals 2018: LeBron James walks out of news conference after Game 1 loss, tells reporters: "Be better tomorrow"," 1 June 2018 The 4-year-old, who was born in January 2014, made headlines in 2016 when a portrait released of the Queen and her grandchildren showed Mia clutching at her grandmother’s purse — which looked enormous in her tiny arms. Kate Samuelson, Time, "Your Complete Guide to the British Royal Family Tree and Line of Succession," 23 Apr. 2018 Vanessa also holds her purse with a power clutch that signifies confidence, since the grip is sturdier than daintily holding a bag from above, according to Cobb. Elizabeth Narins, Cosmopolitan, "Signs of Don Jr. and Vanessa's Divorce Date Back to 2004," 16 Mar. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of purse

Noun

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for purse

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about purse

Statistics for purse

Last Updated

4 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for purse

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for purse

purse

noun

English Language Learners Definition of purse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

US : a usually leather or cloth bag used by women for carrying money and personal things
: an amount of money that a person, organization, or government has available to use
: an amount of money that is offered as a prize in a competition (such as a horse race, a golf tournament, or a boxing match)

purse

verb

English Language Learners Definition of purse (Entry 2 of 2)

: to form (your lips) into a tight circle or line

purse

noun
\ 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

purse

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on purse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with purse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for purse

Spanish Central: Translation of purse

Nglish: Translation of purse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purse for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about purse

Comments on purse

What made you want to look up purse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!