purse string


Definition of purse string

  1. 1 :  one of the drawstrings of a purse by which its mouth is opened or closed

  2. 2 purse strings plural :  financial resources those who have control of our municipal purse strings purse strings will thus continue to control the distribution of … documents — Economist

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of purse string

Middle English, from purs, purse purse + string

First Known Use: 15th century

Seen and Heard

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


to criticize severely

Get Word of the Day daily email!