pur·​pose·​ful | \ ˈpər-pəs-fəl How to pronounce purposeful (audio) \

Definition of purposeful

1 : having a purpose: such as
a : meaningful purposeful activities
b : intentional purposeful ambiguity
2 : full of determination was soft-spoken but purposeful

Other Words from purposeful

purposefully \ ˈpər-​pəs-​fə-​lē How to pronounce purposeful (audio) \ adverb
purposefulness noun

Examples of purposeful in a Sentence

a soft-spoken but purposeful criminal investigator there's a difference between a purposeful lie and an accidental untruth
Recent Examples on the Web That seems pretty purposeful, versus calling it an album, yeah? Kat Bein, Billboard, 23 Sep. 2022 There is a purposeful androgyny in the collection, with David Bowie in loose 1980s trousers appearing on Griffith’s mood board. Colleen Barry, ajc, 22 Sep. 2022 Given her purposeful distance from politics, Upchurch said, people shouldn’t credit the queen with the passage of pro-LGBTQ legislation. Jo Yurcaba, NBC News, 18 Sep. 2022 Through purposeful distressing, picturesque embroidery, and meticulously manipulated denim, no look was left feeling flat. Jailynn Taylor, Essence, 15 Sep. 2022 His physical language is animated and dramatic while being at all times purposeful. Lukas Schulze, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Aug. 2022 There was eating in bed, clothes everywhere, smoking in the house, and those were all very purposeful decisions, as was her smoking outside. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 July 2022 And then there’s an effective, purposeful way that the city manager is held accountable in getting all that resolved and taken care of. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al, 13 Sep. 2022 Employers looking to create equity in their workforce need to plan and be purposeful about inequity in their benefits. Priya Krishnan, Fortune, 24 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of purposeful

1853, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of purposeful was in 1853

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Last Updated

30 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Purposeful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purposeful. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for purposeful


pur·​pose·​ful | \ ˈpər-pəs-fəl How to pronounce purposeful (audio) \

Kids Definition of purposeful

: having a clear intention or aim

Other Words from purposeful

purposefully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb
purposefulness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on purposeful

Nglish: Translation of purposeful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of purposeful for Arabic Speakers


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