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

In July, Roach and Mayor Joe Hogsett also announced a plan to enhance firearms review boards by including civilians and expanding their purview to more uses of force, such as a physical altercation or the use of a stun gun. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "IMPD violated policy, failed to review 19 police shootings," 4 Feb. 2018 The tools to prevent those shifts are within each country’s purview. New York Times, "If the World Economy Is Looking So Great, Why Are Global Policymakers So Gloomy?," 19 Apr. 2018 The new president ran on taking protected lands away from environmental legislative bodies and putting them under the purview of the agribusiness lobby. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Jair Bolsonaro's Agriculture Minister Called Gisele Bündchen a "Bad Brazilian"," 14 Jan. 2019 The red carpet is no longer the purview of starlets: 2018 gave rise to a new set of designer muses over the age of 50 who proved that style only gets better with time. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "17 Age-Defying Stars Who Ruled the Red Carpet in 2018," 12 Dec. 2018 Decisions whether or not to prosecute are the purview of the Department of Justice. Nick Miroff, Washington Post, "Reversal on migrant families deepens confusion over Trump’s immigration order," 21 June 2018 The decision was once the sole purview of a select board of top FIFA officials who voted secretly. Andrew Das, New York Times, "North American Bid for World Cup Gets High Marks, but Still Needs Votes," 1 June 2018 Space exploration can't be the purview of just one nation, or even all nations, Bezos says. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Amazon's Jeff Bezos says we need to leave Earth to survive. First stop: a city on the moon," 29 May 2018 The Fed’s purview extends beyond the banking sector to look at risks in the broader economy. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Fed’s Brainard Sees Reasons for Economic Optimism but Flags New ‘Crosscurrents’," 7 Dec. 2018

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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Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for purview

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on purview

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with purview

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for purview

Nglish: Translation of purview for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purview for Arabic Speakers

Comments on purview

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


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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