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[pur-puh s-lee] /ˈpɜr pəs li/
intentionally; deliberately:
He tripped me purposely.
with the particular purpose specified; expressly:
I wore that suit purposely to make a good impression.
Origin of purposely
1485-95; purpose + -ly
Related forms
unpurposely, adverb
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 purposely
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The bishops were purposely slighted and overlooked, because they had lived in harmony with the late ministers.

  • "He's afraid of me," boasted Reddy in a purposely loud tone.

  • He had said no more than he did to them purposely, for he was curious to see how each would go about it.

    A Woman at Bay Nicholas Carter
  • "Why, surely I will if that's what you command me to do," said Henry, purposely misunderstanding her.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • At times we can produce strange, glasslike effects by purposely mixing non-harmonic tones.

    Piano Playing Josef Hofmann
British Dictionary definitions for purposely


for a definite reason; on purpose
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 purposely

late 15c., from purpose (n.) + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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