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[v. per-pawrt, -pohrt, pur-pawrt, -pohrt; n. pur-pawrt, -pohrt] /v. pərˈpɔrt, -ˈpoʊrt, ˈpɜr pɔrt, -poʊrt; n. ˈpɜr pɔrt, -poʊrt/
verb (used with object)
to present, especially deliberately, the appearance of being; profess or claim, often falsely:
a document purporting to be official.
to convey to the mind as the meaning or thing intended; express or imply.
the meaning, import, or sense:
the main purport of your letter.
purpose; intention; object:
the main purport of their visit to France.
late Middle English
1375-1425; (v.) late Middle English purporten < Anglo-French purporter to convey, equivalent to pur- pro-1 + porter to carry (< Latin portāre); (noun) late Middle English < Anglo-French, derivative of the v.
Related forms
purportless, adjective
2. mean, intend, signify. 3. implication, drift, trend, gist. See meaning. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for purports
  • It purports to improve energy, speed weight loss and boost general wellbeing.
  • The third category, a tendentious one, purports to show other countries' private thinking.
  • When what purports to be the same item is re-scanned at some later date, it should show the same pattern of speckle.
  • The red line in the graph above is not what it purports to be.
  • The problem with the two-state idea as it has been construed is that it does not truly address what it purports to resolve.
  • While the book purports to be a practical how-to companion, it's more satire than substance.
  • It purports to consider cross-cultural or historical differences.
  • Instead, they receive a card that purports to provide discounted rates with medical providers.
British Dictionary definitions for purports


verb (transitive) (pɜːˈpɔːt)
to claim (to be a certain thing, etc) by manner or appearance, esp falsely
(esp of speech or writing) to signify or imply
noun (ˈpɜːpɔːt)
meaning; significance
purpose; object; intention
Word Origin
C15: from Anglo-French: contents, from Old French porporter to convey, from por- forth + porter to carry, from Latin portāre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for purports



early 15c., from Anglo-French purport (late 13c.), Old French porport "contents, tenor," back-formation from purporter "to contain, convey, carry," from pur- (from Latin pro- "forth;" see pur-) + Old French porter "to carry," from Latin portare "to carry" (see port (n.1)).


early 15c., "indicate, express, set forth," from the noun in English and from Anglo-French purporter (c.1300), from Old French purporter (see purport (n.)). Related: Purported; purporting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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