the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
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.
Idioms about purpose
- pre·pur·pose, verb (used with object), pre·pur·posed, pre·pur·pos·ing.
- re·pur·pose, verb (used with object), re·pur·posed, re·pur·pos·ing.
- un·pur·posed, adjective
- un·pur·pos·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use purpose in a sentence
The reason: activist government and unionized government often work at cross purposes.
He did not shout “God is great,” but his random act served the purposes of ISIS almost as well.
However useful they might be for external purposes, they will always be dangerous internally.Pakistan’s Dance With Terrorists Just Backfired and Killed 132 Children | Chris Allbritton | December 17, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
North Korea does not appear to hack American companies for commercial purposes, but China does.Sony Blames North Korea for Hacking, but Washington Left Them Completely Vulnerable | Gordon G. Chang | December 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
No more cynically cutting opposition candidates out of a district for petty political purposes.Hate Hyper-Partisanship? Support Redistricting Reform Now | John Avlon | November 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Results are easily and quickly obtained, and are probably accurate enough for all clinical purposes.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
The alternate hexameter and pentameter are, for most purposes, a more agreeable measure than the hexameter by itself.
Altogether, it seems that not more than one-third of our fast diminishing total are available for actual fighting purposes.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
But all these fiscal operations should be, for our present purposes, separated from monetary operations.Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips
As regards Great Britain, the gold standard is yet preserved for all practical purposes.Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips
British Dictionary definitions for purpose
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; determination: a man of purpose
practical advantage or use: to work to good purpose
that which is relevant or under consideration (esp in the phrase to or from the purpose)
on purpose intentionally
to intend or determine to do (something)
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
Other 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.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.