Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Purpose

Pur′pose

,
Noun.
[OF.
purpos
,
pourpos
,
propos
, L.
propositum
. See
Propound
.]
1.
That which a person sets before himself as an object to be reached or accomplished; the end or aim to which the view is directed in any plan, measure, or exertion; view; aim; design; intention; plan.
He will his firste
purpos
modify.
Chaucer.
As my eternal
purpose
hath decreed.
Milton.
The flighty
purpose
never is o’ertook
Unless the deed go with it.
Shakespeare
2.
Proposal to another; discourse.
[Obs.]
Spenser.
3.
Instance; example.
[Obs.]
L'Estrange.
In purpose
,
Of purpose
,
On purpose
,
with previous design; with the mind directed to that object; intentionally. On purpose is the form now generally used.
Syn. – design; end; intention; aim. See
Design
.

Pur′pose

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Purposed
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Purposing
.]
[OF.
purposer
,
proposer
. See
Propose
.]
1.
To set forth; to bring forward.
[Obs.]
2.
To propose, as an aim, to one's self; to determine upon, as some end or object to be accomplished; to intend; to design; to resolve; – often followed by an infinitive or dependent clause.
Chaucer.
Did nothing
purpose
against the state.
Shakespeare
I
purpose
to write the history of England from the accession of King James the Second down to a time which is within the memory of men still living.
Macaulay.

Pur′pose

,
Verb.
I.
To have a purpose or intention; to discourse.
[Obs.]
Spenser.

Webster 1828 Edition


Purpose

PUR'POSE

,
Noun.
[L. propositum, propono; pro, before,and pono, to set or place.]
1.
That which a person sets before himself as an object to be reached or accomplished; the end or aim to which the view is directed in any plan, measure or exertion. We believe the Supreme Being created intelligent beings for some benevolent and glorious purpose, and if so, how glorious and benevolent must be his purpose in the plan of redemption! The ambition of men is generally directed to one of two purposes, or to both; the acquisition of wealth or of power. We build houses for the purpose of shelter; we labor for the purpose of subsistence.
2.
Intention; design. This sense, however, is hardly to be distinguished from the former; as purpose always includes the end in view.
Every purpose is established by counsel. Prov.20.
Being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Eph.1.
3.
End; effect; consequence, good or bad. What good purpose will this answer? We sometimes labor to no purpose. Men often employ their time, talents and money for very evil purposes.
To what purpose is this waste? Matt.26.
4.
Instance; example. [Not in use.]
5.
Conversation. [Not in use.]
Of purpose, on purpose, with previous design; with the mind directed to that object. On purpose is more generally used, but the true phrase is of purpose.

PUR'POSE

,
Verb.
T.
To intend; to design; to resolve; to determine on some end or object to be accomplished.
I have purposed it,I will also do it. Is.46. Eph.3.
Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem. Acts. 19.

Definition 2021


purpose

purpose

English

Noun

purpose (countable and uncountable, plural purposes)

  1. An object to be reached; a target; an aim; a goal.
    • 2013 June 7, Ed Pilkington, Killer robots should be banned in advance, UN told”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 6:
      In his submission to the UN, [Christof] Heyns points to the experience of drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles were intended initially only for surveillance, and their use for offensive purposes was prohibited, yet once strategists realised their perceived advantages as a means of carrying out targeted killings, all objections were swept out of the way.
  2. A result that is desired; an intention.
  3. The act of intending to do something; resolution; determination.
    • 2013, Phil McNulty, "", BBC Sport, 1 September 2013:
      United began with more purpose in the early phase of the second half and Liverpool were grateful for Glen Johnson's crucial block from Young's goalbound shot.
    • 2013 July-August, Sarah Glaz, Ode to Prime Numbers”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 4:
      Some poems, echoing the purpose of early poetic treatises on scientific principles, attempt to elucidate the mathematical concepts that underlie prime numbers. Others play with primes’ cultural associations. Still others derive their structure from mathematical patterns involving primes.
  4. The subject of discourse; the point at issue.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
  5. The reason for which something is done, or the reason it is done in a particular way.
    The purpose of turning off the lights overnight is to save energy.
  6. (obsolete) Instance; example.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of L'Estrange to this entry?)
Synonyms

Hyponyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Etymology 2

From Middle English purposen, from Old French purposer (to propose)

Verb

purpose (third-person singular simple present purposes, present participle purposing, simple past and past participle purposed)

  1. (transitive) Have set as one's purpose; resolve to accomplish; intend; plan.
    • Macaulay
      I purpose to write the history of England from the accession of King James the Second down to a time which is within the memory of men still living.
  2. (transitive) (passive) Designed for some purpose.
  3. (obsolete, intransitive) To have a purpose or intention; to discourse.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
Derived terms
Synonyms
Translations

References

  • purpose” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.
  • purpose” in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.
  • "purpose" in WordNet 2.0, Princeton University, 2003.

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: position · copy · opened · #543: purpose · fall · pass · doing