- 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.
- 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.
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for purpose on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for purpose
By setting no goals, the player must find their own purpose.Lost For Thousands of Strokes: 'Desert Golfing' Is 'Angry Birds' as Modern Art
January 2, 2015
But Seligman never imagined how Mitchell might put the concept to work, in part because it was so ill-suited to that purpose.The Luxury Homes That Torture and Your Tax Dollars Built
December 12, 2014
We are gathered for one reason and one reason alone—to raise money to help fulfill that dream and that purpose.How Richard Pryor Beat Bill Cosby and Transformed America
David Yaffe, Scott Saul
December 10, 2014
One of the downsides of landfills is that it is difficult to do anything with them once they have served their purpose.Garbage In, Power Out
The Daily Beast
November 24, 2014
Its purpose is to answer one question: Is there enough evidence to warrant a trial?Awaiting the Grand Jury, Dread in Ferguson and America
November 16, 2014
There was no thought that ye should part till you had some purpose in view.
The purpose of his going thus far with them made itself evident.
Upon this as a platform of purpose and of action we can stand together.
Six lines would have contained all that is in it to the purpose of my story.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
The story will signally fail of its purpose if it does not carry its own moral with it.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
- 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; determinationa man of purpose
- practical advantage or useto 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
- to intend or determine to do (something)
Word Origin and History for purpose
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).
Idioms and Phrases with purpose
see at cross purposes; for all intents and purposes; on purpose; serve a purpose; to good purpose; to little or no purpose.