• (America) IPA: /ˈpɝpəs/
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈpɜːpəs/


  1. An object to be reached; a target; an aim; a goal.
  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.
  4. The subject of discourse; the point at issue.
  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.
    • , Fables of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists.
      'Tis a common Thing for Captious People, and Double-Dealers, to be taken in their Own Snares ; as for the Purpose in the Matter of Power.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

purpose (purposes, present participle purposing; past and past participle purposed)

  1. (transitive) To have set as one's purpose; resolve to accomplish; intend; plan.
    • 18, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 1, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify ), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323 ↗:
  2. (transitive, passive) To design for some purpose.
  3. (obsolete, intransitive) To discourse.
Synonyms Translations Translations
  • Russian: служи́ть це́лью

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