[ purs ]
/ pɜrs /


verb (used with object), pursed, purs·ing.

to contract into folds or wrinkles; pucker: to purse one's lips.
to put into a purse.

Origin of purse

before 1100; (noun) Middle English, Old English purs, blend of pusa bag (cognate with Old Norse posi) and Medieval Latin bursa bag (≪ Greek býrsa hide, leather); (v.) Middle English pursen to put in a purse, derivative of the noun

Related forms

purse·less, adjectivepurse·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for purse

British Dictionary definitions for purse


/ (pɜːs) /


a small bag or pouch, often made of soft leather, for carrying money, esp coins
US and Canadian a woman's handbag
anything resembling a small bag or pouch in form or function
wealth; funds
a sum of money that is offered, esp as a prize


(tr) to contract (the mouth, lips, etc) into a small rounded shape

Word Origin for purse

Old English purs, probably from Late Latin bursa bag, ultimately from Greek: leather
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

Idioms and Phrases with purse


In addition to the idiom beginning with purse

  • purse strings

also see:

  • can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.