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

Henry paired the look with a silver chain necklace, a black purse, and wore her hair up in a high ponytail. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "Liam Payne Steps Out with Model Maya Henry Over One Year After Cheryl Split," 17 Sep. 2019 Deep, wide dents filled with water are populated by animals with scales or blowholes or no eyes, and ones that live in shells that look like tiny purses made out of little plates. Jenny Slate, The New Yorker, "Going to the Restaurant," 16 Sep. 2019 After wearing a dotted dress and snakeskin purse for one event, Rowan later took a photograph in an artistic tank top and statement hair accessory. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "The Best Celebrity Outfits from NYFW 2019 Featuring Zendaya, Rico Nasty, and Rowan Blanchard," 9 Sep. 2019 Meghan was wearing a denim dress paired with a gray coat and large gray purse. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Duchess Meghan turns up at U.S. Open to watch pal Serena Williams try to make history," 7 Sep. 2019 Their important documents were stowed in a plastic bag inside a purse, ready for a quick escape. Chabeli Herrera, orlandosentinel.com, "She’s the only Bahamian working on the hurricane relief cruise. It just reunited her with her family," 7 Sep. 2019 That particular question has been a source of mystery surrounding women's purses for decades. Shannon Fitzgerald, Fortune, "Behind the Rise in ‘Stadium’ Bags—and Why You’ll Be Needing One at Football Games This Fall," 1 Sep. 2019 In fiscal year 2018, slots generated $5.4 million for the Maryland Bred Race Fund and nearly $45 million to boost thoroughbred purses, according racing commission statistics. Doug Donovan, baltimoresun.com, "Several Maryland racing regulators earning breeder bonuses also own winning racehorses," 30 Aug. 2019 To that end, the 2019 Colorado Classic will feature a record-breaking $75,000 prize purse ($5,000 more than the 2018 men’s race) and start-to-finish streaming and TV coverage. Kathryn Bertine, Outside Online, "It's Time for Pro Cycling to Treat Women Equally," 22 Aug. 2019

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

8 Oct 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

a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!