noun pur·view \ˈpər-ˌvyü\

Definition of purview

  1. 1a :  the body or enacting part of a statuteb :  the limit, purpose, or scope of a statute

  2. 2 :  the range or limit of authority, competence, responsibility, concern, or intention

  3. 3 :  range of vision, understanding, or cognizance

purview was our Word of the Day on 06/20/2007. Hear the podcast!

Examples of purview in a sentence

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. … 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

  4. The case is within the court's purview.

  5. That question is outside my purview.

  6. The moral dilemmas of the early settlers are beyond the purview of this book.

Recent Examples of purview from the web

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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."

Origin and Etymology of purview

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

First Known Use: 15th century

PURVIEW Defined for English Language Learners


noun pur·view \ˈpər-ˌvyü\

Definition of purview for English Language Learners

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

Law Dictionary


noun pur·view \ˈpər-ˌvyü\

Legal Definition of purview

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

  2. 2 :  the limit or scope of a law

Origin and Etymology of purview

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

Seen and Heard

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


a rounded knoll or a ridge of ice

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