[verb per-pawrt, -pohrt, pur-pawrt, -pohrt; noun pur-pawrt, -pohrt]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to present, especially deliberately, the appearance of being; profess or claim, often falsely: a document purporting to be official.
  2. to convey to the mind as the meaning or thing intended; express or imply.
  1. the meaning, import, or sense: the main purport of your letter.
  2. purpose; intention; object: the main purport of their visit to France.

Origin of purport

1375–1425; (v.) late Middle English purporten < Anglo-French purporter to convey, equivalent to pur- pro-1 + porter to carry (< Latin portāre); (noun) late Middle English < Anglo-French, derivative of the v.
Related formspur·port·less, adjective

Synonyms for purport

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for purporting

Contemporary Examples of purporting

Historical Examples of purporting

  • After this, writing, purporting to be from Mr. Smith, came frequently.

    The Arena


  • (Bohn's), is the following, purporting to be from Hakluyt, vol.

  • Lopez had gone, purporting,—as he said,—to be back to dinner.

    The Prime Minister

    Anthony Trollope

  • Some draw maps, purporting to come from a deceased schoolmate.

    The Spirit Land

    Samuel B. (Samuel Bulfinch) Emmons

  • She gave messages to Mr. Crane, purporting to be from his dead son.

    The Come Back

    Carolyn Wells

British Dictionary definitions for purporting


verb (pɜːˈpɔːt) (tr)
  1. to claim (to be a certain thing, etc) by manner or appearance, esp falsely
  2. (esp of speech or writing) to signify or imply
noun (ˈpɜːpɔːt)
  1. meaning; significance
  2. purpose; object; intention

Word Origin for purport

C15: from Anglo-French: contents, from Old French porporter to convey, from por- forth + porter to carry, from Latin portāre
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

Word Origin and History for purporting



early 15c., from Anglo-French purport (late 13c.), Old French porport "contents, tenor," back-formation from purporter "to contain, convey, carry," from pur- (from Latin pro- "forth;" see pur-) + Old French porter "to carry," from Latin portare "to carry" (see port (n.1)).



early 15c., "indicate, express, set forth," from the noun in English and from Anglo-French purporter (c.1300), from Old French purporter (see purport (n.)). Related: Purported; purporting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper