[ pur-ser ]
/ ˈpɜr sər /


an officer on a ship who handles financial accounts and various documents relating to the ship and who keeps money and valuables for passengers.


Nearby words

  1. purse-proud,
  2. purse-seine,
  3. purse-string instrument,
  4. purse-string suture,
  5. pursed lips breathing,
  6. purslane,
  7. purslane family,
  8. pursual,
  9. pursuance,
  10. pursuant

Origin of purser

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at purse, -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for purser

British Dictionary definitions for purser


/ (ˈpɜːsə) /


an officer aboard a passenger ship, merchant ship, or aircraft who keeps the accounts and attends to the welfare of the passengers
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 purser



mid-15c., "treasurer," especially "caretaker of accounts and provisions on a ship," originally also "maker of purses" (late 15c.), agent noun from Middle English purse (see purse (n.)). From late 13c. as a surname.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper