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purpose

[pur-puh s] /ˈpɜr pəs/
noun
1.
the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
2.
an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.
3.
determination; resoluteness.
4.
the subject in hand; the point at issue.
5.
practical result, effect, or advantage:
to act to good purpose.
verb (used with object), purposed, purposing.
6.
to set as an aim, intention, or goal for oneself.
7.
to intend; design.
8.
to resolve (to do something):
He purposed to change his way of life radically.
verb (used without object), purposed, purposing.
9.
to have a purpose.
Idioms
10.
on purpose, by design; intentionally:
How could you do such a thing on purpose?
11.
to the purpose, relevant; to the point:
Her objections were not to the purpose.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; (noun) Middle English purpos < Old French, derivative of purposer, variant of proposer to propose; (v.) Middle English purposen < Anglo-French, Old French purposer
Related forms
prepurpose, verb (used with object), prepurposed, prepurposing.
repurpose, verb (used with object), repurposed, repurposing.
unpurposed, adjective
unpurposing, adjective
Synonyms
1. object, point, rationale. See intention. 7. mean, contemplate, plan.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for purpose
  • There is little actual religious purpose or meaning to them now.
  • That's why the purpose of my films is not to preach, but to look at things from the local point of view, in the local language.
  • Paying off the debt implies the sort of resolve and collective purpose that they lack.
  • Also, overhead watering defeats the shelter's purpose.
  • The exteriors-all but one-are mum about their purpose.
  • Today the stone offers no clue to its original purpose.
  • He believes that genetic knowledge will strengthen our commitments to each other, not rob us of purpose.
  • Creative individuals and undeviating purpose and rationality achieve joy and fulfillment.
  • He approaches every aspect of his life with purpose and intensity.
  • Now two biologists suggest that these luxurious tresses have a higher purpose than vanity.
British Dictionary definitions for purpose

purpose

/ˈpɜːpəs/
noun
1.
the reason for which anything is done, created, or exists
2.
a fixed design, outcome, or idea that is the object of an action or other effort
3.
fixed intention in doing something; determination: a man of purpose
4.
practical advantage or use: to work to good purpose
5.
that which is relevant or under consideration (esp in the phrase to or from the purpose)
6.
(archaic) purport
7.
on purpose, intentionally
verb (transitive)
8.
to intend or determine to do (something)
Word Origin
C13: from Old French porpos, from porposer to plan, from Latin prōpōnere to propose
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 purpose
n.

c.1300, "intention, aim, goal," from Anglo-French purpos, Old French porpos "aim, intention" (12c.), from porposer "to put forth," from por- "forth" (from Latin pro- "forth;" see pur-) + Old French poser "to put, place" (see pose (v.1)). On purpose "by design" is attested from 1580s; earlier of purpose (early 15c.).

v.

late 14c., from Anglo-French purposer "to design," Old French porposer "to intend, propose," variant of proposer (see propose).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with purpose
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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