9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pur-puh s-fuh l] /ˈpɜr pəs fəl/
having a purpose.
determined; resolute.
full of meaning; significant.
Origin of purposeful
1850-55; purpose + -ful
Related forms
purposefully, adverb
purposefulness, noun
Can be confused
purposefully, purposely. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for purposeful
  • The purposeful collective activity of ants and other social insects does, indeed, look intelligent on the surface.
  • Engineering a purposeful tilt or asymmetry takes far more design and study than to build a straight symmetrical building.
  • Therefore, tools are mirrors of purposeful human consciousness.
  • Every movement was sure and purposeful as they approached in a rippling of sinew and muscle.
  • They were in starched white shirts and paper hats, and moved with a purposeful discipline.
  • Robots need to be able to move in a fluid, yet purposeful manner.
  • purposeful pace now, but nothing to attract attention.
  • If no purposeful object could be rendered because of some material limitation, the patent was rejected.
  • purposeful driving is driving for a reason to a specific destination.
  • These are critical areas of purposeful behavior guided by value orientations designed to revitalize cultural ways.
British Dictionary definitions for purposeful


having a definite purpose in view
fixed in one's purpose; determined
Derived Forms
purposefully, adverb
purposefulness, noun
Usage note
Purposefully is sometimes wrongly used where purposely is meant: he had purposely (not purposefully) left the door unlocked
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 purposeful

1835, from purpose (n.) + -ful. Related: Purposefully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Difficulty index for purposeful

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Quotes with purposeful