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90s Slang You Should Know


[pur-puh s] /ˈpɜr pəs/
the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.
determination; resoluteness.
the subject in hand; the point at issue.
practical result, effect, or advantage:
to act to good purpose.
verb (used with object), purposed, purposing.
to set as an aim, intention, or goal for oneself.
to intend; design.
to resolve (to do something):
He purposed to change his way of life radically.
verb (used without object), purposed, purposing.
to have a purpose.
on purpose, by design; intentionally:
How could you do such a thing on purpose?
to the purpose, relevant; to the point:
Her objections were not to the purpose.
Origin of purpose
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
1. object, point, rationale. See intention. 7. mean, contemplate, plan. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for purposing
Historical Examples
  • I therefore sent Bennen on to reconnoitre, purposing myself to cross the Theodule alone on the following day.

  • If madame was not purposing to wear it very long, it might be lightened the sooner.

    Floyd Grandon's Honor Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • purposing through this simple stratagem,150 should chance favor him, to have a look at his pursuing enemies.

    The Red Tavern Charles Raymond Macauley
  • And she looked at Isaac, as if purposing to go to Pongaudin.

    The Hour and the Man Harriet Martineau
  • He carried a number of reindeer with him to his base in Spitzbergen, purposing to use these animals to drag his sledges.

    The North Pole Robert E. Peary
  • Why should any one put you in prison for such a work as you are purposing to carry on?

    Working in the Shade Theodore P Wilson
  • He was of stronger build than his master, and at once grabbed Thomas by the collar, purposing to turn him out.

    The Life of Thomas Wanless, Peasant Alexander Johnstone Wilson
  • But, Heaven love you, Mr. Mertoun, think what you are purposing.

    The Pirate Sir Walter Scott
  • Walked the deck till after nine with two young men that are purposing going to Quebec.

  • How should he, purposing as he did to be in London at the time?

British Dictionary definitions for purposing


the reason for which anything is done, created, or exists
a fixed design, outcome, or idea that is the object of an action or other effort
fixed intention in doing something; determination: a man of purpose
practical advantage or use: to work to good purpose
that which is relevant or under consideration (esp in the phrase to or from the purpose)
(archaic) purport
on purpose, intentionally
verb (transitive)
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
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Word Origin and History for purposing



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.).


late 14c., from Anglo-French purposer "to design," Old French porposer "to intend, propose," variant of proposer (see propose).



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
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Idioms and Phrases with purposing
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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