follow Dictionary.com

Know these essential literary terms?

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.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for to 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for to purpose

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
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with to purpose
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for purpose

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for to

2
2
Scrabble Words With Friends