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See more synonyms for pursy on Thesaurus.com
adjective, pur·si·er, pur·si·est.
  1. short-winded, especially from corpulence or fatness.
  2. corpulent or fat.
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Origin of pursy1

1400–50; late Middle English purcy, variant of Middle English pursif < Anglo-French porsif, variant of Old French polsif, derivative (see -ive) of polser to pant, heave. See push
Related formspur·si·ly, adverbpur·si·ness, noun


adjective, purs·i·er, purs·i·est.
  1. vain about one's wealth; purse-proud.
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Origin of pursy2

First recorded in 1545–55; purse + -y1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pursy

Historical Examples

  • His dull eyes were pursy with midnight debauches; his flesh sagged.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • The generous living of Dawson had made him pursy, almost porcine.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • There was frank wonder and admiration in the pursy gentleman's eyes.

    The Carpet from Bagdad

    Harold MacGrath

  • He was middle-aged, pursy, and dressed with slap-dash ostentation.

    Average Jones

    Samuel Hopkins Adams

  • The man was fat and pursy, and wore a court wig and a travelling cloak.

British Dictionary definitions for pursy


  1. short-winded
  2. archaic fat; overweight
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Word Origin

C15: alteration of earlier pursive, from Anglo-French porsif, ultimately from Latin pulsāre to pulsate
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