[pur-puh s-lis]
See more synonyms for purposeless on Thesaurus.com

Origin of purposeless

First recorded in 1545–55; purpose + -less
Related formspur·pose·less·ly, adverbpur·pose·less·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for purposeless

Contemporary Examples of purposeless

Historical Examples of purposeless

  • It is possible for action to be at once intentional and purposeless.

  • And he thought of his own condition—very hopeless and purposeless as it was.

    Lord Kilgobbin

    Charles Lever

  • To take to the mountains would have been a purposeless folly.

    In Direst Peril

    David Christie Murray

  • It seems to be a habit of Munich trains to start off in this purposeless way.

    Diary of a Pilgrimage

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • He went as slowly as we, with an indescribable, purposeless gait.


    Elizabeth Wetherell

British Dictionary definitions for purposeless


  1. having no fixed plan or intention
Derived Formspurposelessly, adverbpurposelessness, 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

Word Origin and History for purposeless

1550s, from purpose (n.) + -less. Related: Purposelessly; purposelessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper