pur·​sy | \ ˈpə-sē How to pronounce pursy (audio) , ˈpər-sē How to pronounce pursy (audio) \
pursier; pursiest

Definition of pursy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : short-winded especially because of corpulence
2 : fat
\ ˈpər-sē How to pronounce pursy (audio) \
pursier; pursiest

Definition of pursy (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having a puckered appearance

Other Words from pursy

Adjective (1)

pursiness noun

Did you know?

There are two adjectives spelled pursy, each with its own etymology. The one describing a puckered appearance goes back to the mid-16th century and has its source in the noun purse ("a receptacle for carrying money and other small objects"); a drawstring purse's puckered appearance is the inspiration. The other pursy (pronounced PUH-see or PER-see) dates from the 15th century and can mean "short-winded especially because of corpulence" or simply "fat." This pursy comes from the Old French word pousser, meaning "to exert pressure" or "to breathe heavily"—the same word, etymologists believe, behind the word push.

First Known Use of pursy

Adjective (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (2)

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pursy

Adjective (1)

Middle English pursi, pursif, from Anglo-French porsif, alteration of *polsif, from Old French pousser to exert pressure, breathe heavily — more at push

Adjective (2)

purse entry 1

Learn More About pursy

Time Traveler for pursy

Time Traveler

The first known use of pursy was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About pursy

Dictionary Entries Near pursy

pursuivant

pursy

purtenance

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pursy

Cite this Entry

“Pursy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pursy. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!