re·​pur·​pose | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈpər-pəs How to pronounce repurpose (audio) \
repurposed; repurposing; repurposes

Definition of repurpose

transitive verb

: to give a new purpose or use to repurpose the company's website repurpose the archived material

Examples of repurpose in a Sentence

finding ways to repurpose old computer equipment

Recent Examples on the Web

Thanks to Bianca and Red's handmade bow barrettes, though, one need no longer repurpose their trimmings. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "These One-of-a-Kind Handmade Hair Bows are the Ultimate Holiday Gift for Yourself," 24 Dec. 2018 Of course, the drafters of the Copyright Act never foresaw the emergence of internet memes, or that online games would repurpose them as a means of digital commerce. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite keeps stealing dances — and no one knows if it’s illegal," 20 Dec. 2018 Make a Soft-Focus Lip Your New Signature In place of traditional lipstick, Westman loves to repurpose her blush stick as a vivid pigment for the mouth. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "How to Get Your Best Party Skin Ever, According to This Celebrity Dream Team," 4 Dec. 2018 In addition to the underground work, Mundelein in May decided to sell $2 million in bonds to cover the purchase of new property and repurpose that land into a water overflow detention area. Rick Kambic,, "Parts of Mundelein underwater day after village lays out long-term flood prevention efforts," 27 June 2018 While Microsoft couldn't make Edge work, maybe someone else could repurpose its engine. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Google Chrome Is Poised to Swallow the Whole Internet," 4 Dec. 2018 Itzkoff’s deep dive presents a far fuller picture, and an even darker view, of the comedian’s early years (his drug use, his womanizing, his tendency to absorb material from other comedian’s sets and repurpose it in his singular way). Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "In a New Documentary, a Lens Into Robin Williams’s Beautiful Mind," 16 July 2018 For black women, flattery is simply not enough of a reason to permit white and other non-black people to repurpose, misrepresent, and profit from our culture. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "Some White Influencers Are Being Accused of "Blackfishing," or Using Makeup to Appear Black," 16 Nov. 2018 These trucks, known as gliders, repurpose old engines in new truck bodies to bypass pollution rules. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The EPA just undid Scott Pruitt’s final act in office," 27 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of repurpose

1984, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about repurpose

Share repurpose

Statistics for repurpose

Last Updated

2 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for repurpose

The first known use of repurpose was in 1984

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for repurpose



English Language Learners Definition of repurpose

: to change (something) so that it can be used for a different purpose

Comments on repurpose

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


a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!