a woman's handbag or pocketbook.
a small bag, pouch, or case for carrying money.
anything resembling a purse in appearance, use, etc.
a sum of money offered as a prize or reward.
a sum of money collected as a present or the like.
money, resources, or wealth.
verb (used with object), pursed, pursing.
to contract into folds or wrinkles; pucker: to purse one's lips.
to put into a purse.

before 1100; (noun) Middle English, Old English purs, blend of pusa bag (cognate with Old Norse posi) and Medieval Latin bursa bag (≪ Greek býrsa hide, leather); (v.) Middle English pursen to put in a purse, derivative of the noun

purseless, adjective
purselike, adjective

briefcase, handbag, pocketbook, purse, valise, wallet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To purseless
World English Dictionary
purse (pɜːs)
1.  a small bag or pouch, often made of soft leather, for carrying money, esp coins
2.  (US), (Canadian) a woman's handbag
3.  anything resembling a small bag or pouch in form or function
4.  wealth; funds
5.  a sum of money that is offered, esp as a prize
6.  (tr) to contract (the mouth, lips, etc) into a small rounded shape
[Old English purs, probably from Late Latin bursa bag, ultimately from Greek: leather]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. pursa "little bag made of leather," from M.L. bursa "purse" (cf. O.Fr. borse, 12c., Fr. bourse), from L.L., variant of byrsa "hide," from Gk. byrsa "hide, leather." Change of b- to p- perhaps by infl. of O.E. pusa, O.N. posi "bag." Meaning "woman's handbag" is attested from 1955. Meaning "sum of
money collected as a prize in a race, etc.," is from 1650. The verb, "draw together and wrinkle" (as the strings of a money bag) is first recorded 1604. Purse-strings, fig. for "control of money" is from c.1412. Purse-snatcher first attested 1902 (earlier purse-picker, 1549). The notion of "drawn together by a thong" is also behind purse-net (c.1400).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Bible Dictionary

Purse definition

(1.) Gr. balantion, a bag (Luke 10:4; 22:35, 36). (2.) Gr. zone, properly a girdle (Matt. 10:9; Mark 6:8), a money-belt. As to our Lord's sending forth his disciples without money in their purses, the remark has been made that in this "there was no departure from the simple manners of the country. At this day the farmer sets out on excursions quite as extensive without a para in his purse; and a modern Moslem prophet of Tarshisha thus sends forth his apostles over this identical region. No traveller in the East would hestitate to throw himself on the hospitality of any village." Thomson's Land and the Book. (See SCRIP.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature