• (British) IPA: /pɜːs/
  • (America) IPA: /pɝs/

purse (plural purses)

  1. A small bag for carrying money.
    • 1550 Mierdman, Steuen, The market or fayre of usurers
      And then muſt many a man occupie as farre as his purſe would reache, and ſtretche out his legges accordynge to the length of his couerlet.
  2. (US) A handbag (small bag usually used by women for carrying various small personal items)
  3. A quantity of money given for a particular purpose.
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[[Episode 12: The Cyclops]]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare & Co.; Sylvia Beach, OCLC 560090630 ↗; republished London: Published for the Egoist Press, London by John Rodker, Paris, October 1922, OCLC 2297483 ↗:
      It was a historic and a hefty battle when Myler and Percy were scheduled to don the gloves for the purse of fifty sovereigns.
  4. (historical) A specific sum of money in certain countries: formerly 500 piastres in Turkey or 50 tomans in Persia.
Synonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Verb

purse (purses, present participle pursing; past and past participle pursed)

  1. (transitive) To press (one's lips) in and together so that they protrude.
    • 1901, Matilde Serao, The Land of Cockayne, translator not credited, London: Heinemann, Chapter IV, p. 72,
      The serving Sister pursed up her lips to remind him of the cloistral rule, almost as if she wanted to prevent any conversation between him and the nun.
    • 1916, Leonid Andreyev, "An Original" in The Little Angel and Other Stories, translated by W. H. Lowe, New York: Alfred Knopf, p. 85,
      Anton Ivanovich pursed up his lower lip so that his grey moustache pressed against the tip of his red pitted nose, took in all the officials with his rounded eyes, and after an unavoidable pause emitted a fat unctuous laugh.
    • 1979, Monty Python, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
      When you're feeling in the dumps
      Don't be silly chumps
      Just purse your lips and whistle – that's the thing.
    • 2002, R.M.W. Dixon, Australian Languages: Their Nature and Development, Cambridge University Press, 2004, Chapter 9, p. 403,
      […] Yidinj has just one prefix dja:- 'in the direction of' […] . There is a noun djawa 'mouth' in a number of neighbouring languages […] and it is likely that this developed into the prefix dja:-. The semantic motivation would be the fact that Aborigines typically indicate direction by pointing with pursed lips (in circumstances where Europeans would extend a hand or index finger).
  2. To draw up or contract into folds or wrinkles; to pucker; to knit.
    • 1603, William Shakespeare, Othello, Act III, Scene 3, 1756-9, [https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Tragedy_of_Othello,_The_Moor_of_Venice]
      […] thou […] didst contract and purse thy brow together, / As if thou then hadst shut up in thy brain / Some horrible conceit: […]
    • 1924, Herman Melville, Billy Budd, London: Constable & Co., Chapter 13,
      Upon hearing Billy's version, the sage Dansker seemed to divine more than he was told; and after a little meditation during which his wrinkles were pursed as into a point, quite effacing for the time that quizzing expression his face sometimes wore, "Didn't I say so, Baby Budd?"
  3. To put into a purse.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venise, Act I, Scene 3, 502,
      And I will go and purse the ducats straight,
  4. (intransitive, obsolete, rare) To steal purses; to rob.
    • 1616, Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, The Scornful Lady, Act I, Scene 1, in The Works of Beaumont and Fletcher, Edinburgh, 1812, Vol. 2, pp. 147-8,
      Why I'll purse; if that raise me not, I'll bet at bowling alleys, or man whores: I would fain live by others.
Synonyms Translations Translations
  • Russian: мо́рщить

  • (British) IPA: /pɜːs/
  • (America) IPA: /pɝs/
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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