pur·​view | \ ˈpər-ˌvyü How to pronounce purview (audio) \

Definition of purview

1a : the body or enacting part of a statute
b : the limit, purpose, or scope of a statute
2 : the range or limit of authority, competence, responsibility, concern, or intention
3 : range of vision, understanding, or cognizance

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Did You Know?

You might guess that there is a connection between purview and view. Purview comes from purveu, a word often found in the legal statutes of 13th- and 14th-century England. These statutes, written in Anglo-French, opened with the phrases purveu est and purveu que, which translate literally as "it is provided" and "provided that." Purveu derives from porveu, the past participle of the Old French verb porveeir, meaning "to provide." View derives (via Middle English) from the past participle of another Anglo-French word, veer, meaning "to see," and ultimately from the Latin vidēre, an ancestor of porveeir meaning "to see."

Examples of purview in a Sentence

After the true shock and awe of a campaign of massive surplus, as in the Gulf War, no regime would have risked its survival by failing to go after the terrorists within its purview. — Mark Helprin, Wall Street Journal, 17 May 2004 It is the use of informal, back channels outside public or congressional purview—designed partly to thwart publicity and partly to hold down the temperature of disputes within the government—that critics say denies the protections of open government. — Bob Woodward et al., Washington Post, 20-26 Jan. 1992 … the contemporary university, though, has reached beyond the purview of education, and it has thereby become entangled in problems it lacks the means to resolve. — Louis Menand, Harper's, December 1991 The case is within the court's purview. That question is outside my purview. The moral dilemmas of the early settlers are beyond the purview of this book.
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Recent Examples on the Web Graton, located on tribal land in Rohnert Park, falls under the purview of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, and is not subject to county or state lock-down edicts. Jill Tucker, SFChronicle.com, "Sonoma casino cancels controversial, indoor New Year’s Eve party expected to draw 4,000," 24 Dec. 2020 The organization falls under the purview of the Senate Banking Committee, which Perdue sits on. Robert Faturechi, ProPublica, "Sen. David Perdue Sold His Home to a Finance Industry Official Whose Organization Was Lobbying the Senate," 10 Dec. 2020 The misinformation and hate speech that social media platforms have played a role in normalizing do not fall under the purview of antitrust law, for example. Brian Fung, CNN, "The legal battle to break up Facebook is underway. Now comes the hard part," 10 Dec. 2020 Lewis said the Legislature is an employer that falls under the purview of MIOSHA rules but declined to provide additional details about the investigation. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan House of Representatives under investigation for possible COVID-19 violations," 9 Dec. 2020 The exception was a huge equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee that came under the purview of the state rather than the city government, and whose removal, promised by the governor, became tangled in legal challenges. Peter Van Agtmael, Magazine, "How photography helps us make sense of this unforgettable year," 8 Dec. 2020 Not enough effort has been made to secure the rights of Indian marginalised groups—at least in the public purview. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Facebook’s public policy head is perhaps the least appealing job opening in India right now," 18 Nov. 2020 Redistricting congressional seats is in the purview of state legislatures in 35 states. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "Election Day is here - Trail Markers special early edition," 3 Nov. 2020 Asking for favors like a Disney pass is the kind of thing that falls largely in the purview of star performers. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Why Shonda Rhimes was right to leave ABC over a Disneyland pass," 21 Oct. 2020

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

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First Known Use of purview

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for purview

Middle English purveu, from Anglo-French purveu est it is provided (opening phrase of a statute)

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Time Traveler for purview

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

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Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Purview.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purview. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for purview


How to pronounce purview (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of purview

formal : an area within which someone or something has authority, influence, or knowledge


pur·​view | \ ˈpər-ˌvyü How to pronounce purview (audio) \

Legal Definition of purview

1 : the body of a statute or the part that begins with Be it enacted and ends before the repealing clause
2 : the limit or scope of a law

History and Etymology for purview

Anglo-French purveu est it is provided (opening phrase of a statute)

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