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

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 to "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 Latin vidēre, of the same meaning.

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Vaught’s case stands out because medical errors ― even deadly ones ― are generally within the purview of state medical boards, and lawsuits are almost never prosecuted in criminal court. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive, 13 May 2022 Since Medpace's main purview was to safeguard the CAM2038 study, its investigators would uncover just a fraction of Mid-Columbia's scientific wrongdoing. Brendan I. Koerner, Wired, 12 Oct. 2021 Its purview is multi-dimensional, requiring an assessment across a broad array of economic, social, structural, environmental and institutional (or policy-based) factors. Harry G. Broadman, Forbes, 29 Aug. 2021 Previously, efforts to curb disinformation were carried out independently by agencies and offices operating under DHS' purview. Nicole Sganga, CBS News, 6 May 2022 The transit authority said in a statement that the matter is no longer within the department's purview. Dan Carson, Chron, 29 Apr. 2022 Random graphs constitute one specific case — a random graph can be thought of as a random subset of the set of all possible edges — but there are many other objects that fall within the conjecture’s purview. Quanta Magazine, 25 Apr. 2022 Over the past year, Blankrot’s purview at NBCU has also expanded to include unscripted projects across the company’s entertainment portfolio, which includes NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, USA Network, Universal Kids and Peacock. Jennifer Maas, Variety, 25 Apr. 2022 Although border security falls under the purview of the federal government, Texas governors have a history of encroaching on that territory. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Purview.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purview. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for purview


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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