[ pur-puh s-fuh l ]
/ ˈpɜr pəs fəl /


having a purpose.
determined; resolute.
full of meaning; significant.

Origin of purposeful

First recorded in 1850–55; purpose + -ful

Related forms

pur·pose·ful·ly, adverbpur·pose·ful·ness, noun

Can be confused

purposefully purposely
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for purposeful

British Dictionary definitions for purposeful


/ (ˈpɜːpəsfʊl) /


having a definite purpose in view
fixed in one's purpose; determined

Derived Forms

purposefully, adverbpurposefulness, noun


Purposefully is sometimes wrongly used where purposely is meant: he had purposely (not purposefully) left the door unlocked
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