[pur-puh s-lis]


having no purpose or apparent meaning.
having no aim or goal; aimless: to lead a purposeless existence.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for purposelessness

Historical Examples of purposelessness

  • His purposelessness and his love for Robert alone kept him where he was.

    Robert Falconer

    George MacDonald

  • He's a quiet soul, who ponders on the purposelessness of nature.

    The Road to Damascus

    August Strindberg

  • He brought out, sharply cut and certain, the immense effect of purposelessness in London that I was already indistinctly feeling.

    Tono Bungay

    H. G. Wells

  • I demur, therefore, to the inference of "purposelessness" which I gather that Professor Haeckel draws from these organs.

  • A second cause for our uncertainty lies in the almost universal human habit of purposelessness.

    Analyzing Character

    Katherine M. H. Blackford and Arthur Newcomb

British Dictionary definitions for purposelessness



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 purposelessness



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper