Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of purpose
Meaning of purpose by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • IPA: /ˈpɜː( ɹ )pəs/, X-SAMPA: /"p3rp@s/

    Etymology 1

    From Middle English purpos, from Old French purposer ( “to propose” ), from Latin prō ( “forth” ) + pausāre, present active infinitive of pausō ( “halt, cease, pause” ) .


    purpose ( plural: purposes )

    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 .
    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 .
    Derived terms

    Etymology 2

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


    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 .
    2. ( transitive ) ( passive ) Designed for some purpose .
    Derived terms

    See also

    • “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 3.0, Princeton University, 2006 .


Explanation of purpose by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. reach a decision

    2. propose or intend

    1. the quality of being determined to do or achieve something

    2. he is a man of purpose
    3. what something is used for

    4. an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions

    Definition of purpose by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Purpose n. [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. Shak.

      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.

    2. Purpose, v. 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. Shak.

      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.

    3. Purpose, v. i. To have a purpose or intention; to discourse. [Obs.] Spenser.