pur·​pose·​less ˈpər-pəs-ləs How to pronounce purposeless (audio)
: having no purpose : aimless, meaningless
purposelessly adverb
purposelessness noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But here’s a question: How much longer can the country afford to lure so many of its promising talents into a life of purposeless paper-pushing and legalized economic vandalism that antitrust has become? Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, 10 May 2022 Religion gives meaning to human lives, which otherwise can feel purposeless. WSJ, 21 Dec. 2021 In How To Do Nothing, Jenny Odell talks about how the pursuit of productivity — driven by capitalism, competition, and consumption — has redirected our attention outward, leaving us feeling empty and purposeless. refinery29.com, 7 Sep. 2021 Although gender is effectively purposeless—if not irrelevant—in gaming, my brothers reflected society's obsession with forcing others to choose between pink or blue. Jamie Valentino, Wired, 22 June 2021 These protests are nearly all disingenuous, false and specious, and meant to utilize fear to continue a tragic and purposeless war. Matthew Hoh, CNN, 17 May 2021 In Mazars, Trump may yet be able to convince the lower courts that Congress’s rationale for seeking his financial records is too broad, too partisan, or too purposeless. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 9 July 2020 Well, given the malignant chaos of a purposeless universe, what’s one little false allegation in the scheme of things? USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2020 Failing that, the right thing to do is spare Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Ford an awful, purposeless hearing that cannot be anything but a disgrace to the Senate. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, 25 Sep. 2018 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1552, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of purposeless was circa 1552

Dictionary Entries Near purposeless

Cite this Entry

“Purposeless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purposeless. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

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