purse

[purs]
See more synonyms for purse on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a woman's handbag or pocketbook.
  2. a small bag, pouch, or case for carrying money.
  3. anything resembling a purse in appearance, use, etc.
  4. a sum of money offered as a prize or reward.
  5. a sum of money collected as a present or the like.
  6. money, resources, or wealth.
verb (used with object), pursed, purs·ing.
  1. to contract into folds or wrinkles; pucker: to purse one's lips.
  2. 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 formspurse·less, adjectivepurse·like, adjective
Can be confusedbriefcase handbag pocketbook purse valise wallet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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Contemporary Examples of purse

Historical Examples of purse


British Dictionary definitions for purse

purse

noun
  1. a small bag or pouch, often made of soft leather, for carrying money, esp coins
  2. US and Canadian a woman's handbag
  3. anything resembling a small bag or pouch in form or function
  4. wealth; funds
  5. a sum of money that is offered, esp as a prize
verb
  1. (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

Word Origin and History for purse
n.

Old English pursa "little bag made of leather," especially for carrying money, from Medieval Latin bursa "leather purse" (source also of Old French borse, 12c., Modern French bourse; cf. bourse), from Late Latin bursa, variant of byrsa "hide," from Greek byrsa "hide, leather." Change of b- to p- perhaps by influence of Old English pusa, Old Norse posi "bag."

Meaning "woman's handbag" is attested from 1951. Meaning "sum of money collected as a prize in a race, etc.," is from 1640s. Purse-strings, figurative for "control of money," is from early 15c. Purse-snatcher first attested 1902 (earlier purse-picker, 1540s). The notion of "drawn together by a thong" also is behind purse-net (c.1400).

v.

c.1300, "put in a purse;" c.1600 as "draw together and wrinkle" (as the strings of a money bag), from purse (n.). Related: Pursed; pursing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with purse

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.