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[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 purposefully
  • The claim as stated is some combination of incompetently written and purposefully misleading.
  • She agreed that crime was a big problem and that the government purposefully manipulates crime statistics.
  • For the moment, she knows that the organism isn't purposefully bringing excess barium and strontium through its cell walls.
  • The general public is not supposed to be smart enough to understand the things that are purposefully hidden by the select few.
  • It is purposefully vague, but it is also underpinned by some solid economics.
  • They said fewer registration kits were sent to their rural strongholds, while cross-checking was purposefully opaque.
  • One might almost wonder if you're being purposefully obtuse.
  • If the author was purposefully trying to mimic the maddening cycle of addiction in the book's structure, he succeeded.
  • It's a culturally oriented event, and purposefully so.
  • Although they live in a one-bedroom apartment, they are purposefully vague about their partnership.
British Dictionary definitions for purposefully


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 purposefully



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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