Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

purposive

[pur-puh-siv] /ˈpɜr pə sɪv/
adjective
1.
having, showing, or acting with a purpose, intention, or design.
2.
adapted to a purpose or end.
3.
serving some purpose.
4.
determined; resolute.
5.
of or characteristic of purpose.
Origin of purposive
1850-1855
First recorded in 1850-55; purpose + -ive
Related forms
purposively, adverb
purposiveness, noun
nonpurposive, adjective
nonpurposively, adverb
nonpurposiveness, noun
prepurposive, adjective
semipurposive, adjective
semipurposively, adverb
semipurposiveness, noun
unpurposive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for purposive
Historical Examples
  • Causal effects are sought in a sphere which belongs to purposive values.

    Psychotherapy Hugo Mnsterberg
  • I understand his inner life by taking a purposive point of view.

    Psychotherapy Hugo Mnsterberg
  • One moves in the purposive sphere, the other in the causal sphere.

    Psychotherapy Hugo Mnsterberg
  • According to the older Darwinism the lungs are just as purposive as the corkscrew.

    Evolution, Old & New Samuel Butler
  • Since the ability to live is threatened by this specialization it cannot be purposive.

    At the Deathbed of Darwinism Eberhard Dennert
  • He wanted to be unanimous with the whole of purposive mankind.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • There is a distinct falling off in the accuracy of the purposive movements.

    'I Believe' and other essays Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • The probabilities are that in their first origin the reactions were not purposive.

    Being Well-Born Michael F. Guyer
  • Co-ordinated and purposive though they be, they do not come within the sphere of the will.

  • These are not authoritative, like the former, but purposive only.

    The Religious Sentiment Daniel G. Brinton
British Dictionary definitions for purposive

purposive

/ˈpɜːpəsɪv/
adjective
1.
relating to, having, or indicating conscious intention
2.
serving a purpose; useful
Derived Forms
purposively, adverb
purposiveness, noun
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 purposive
adj.

1849, from purpose + -ive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for purposive

Word Value for purposive

0
20
Scrabble Words With Friends