American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists; an aim or a goal: "And ever those, who would enjoyment gain/Must find it in the purpose they pursue” ( Sarah Josepha Hale).
- n. A result or effect that is intended or desired; an intention. See Synonyms at intention.
- n. Determination; resolution: He was a man of purpose.
- n. The matter at hand; the point at issue.
- v. To intend or resolve to perform or accomplish.
- idiom. on purpose Intentionally; deliberately.
- idiom. to good purpose With good results.
- idiom. little With few or no results.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To propose; intend; design; mean: generally with an infinitive.
- To resolve; determine, or determine on.
- Synonyms To mean, meditate.
- To have intention or design; intend; mean.
- To discourse.
- n. A thing proposed or intended; an object to be kept in view or subserved in any operation or course of action; end proposed; aim.
- n. Proposition; proposal; point to be considered or acted upon.
- n. Hence Intended or desired effect; practical advantage or result; use; subject or matter in hand; question at issue: as, to speak to the purpose.
- n. Intention; design; resolve; resolution; determination.
- n. Import; meaning: purport; intent.
- n. Discourse; conversation.
- n. Instance; example.
- n. plural A sort of conversational game. Compare cross-purpose, 2.
- n. A dance resembling a cotillion, a characteristic feature of which was the introduction of confidential or coquettish conversation.
- n. In biology, the result which a structure tends to secure, without any reference to an intelligent agent.
- n. An object to be reached; a target; an aim; a goal.
- n. A result that is desired; an intention.
- n. The act of intending to do something; resolution; determination.
- n. The subject of discourse; the point at issue.
- n. The reason for which something is done, or the reason it is done in a particular way.
- v. transitive Have set as one's purpose; resolve to accomplish; intend; plan.
- v. transitive (passive) Designed for some purpose.
- v. obsolete, intransitive To have a purpose or intention; to discourse.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. 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.
- n. obsolete Proposal to another; discourse.
- n. obsolete Instance; example.
- v. obsolete To set forth; to bring forward.
- v. 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.
- v. obsolete To have a purpose or intention; to discourse.
- n. an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions
- v. propose or intend
- v. reach a decision
- n. what something is used for
- n. the quality of being determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose
- From Middle English purposen, from Old French purposer ("to propose") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English purpos, from Anglo-Norman, from purposer, to intend : pur-, forth (from Latin prō-; see pro-1) + poser, to put; see pose1. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Their first argument is that the very consideration of purpose is deceptive: according to them, true purpose is unknowable, and its search merely an excuse for courts to act selectively and unpredictably in picking out evidence of subjective intent.”
“He had seemed to love it little in the years when every penny had its purpose for him; for he loved the _purpose_ then.”
“Not that I mean to say, that I always began to write with a distinct purpose formally conceived; but I believe that my habits of meditation have so formed my feelings, as that my descriptions of such objects as strongly excite those feelings, will be found to carry along with them a _purpose_.”
“Not that I always began to write with a distinct purpose formerly conceived; but habits of meditation have, I trust, so prompted and regulated my feelings, that my descriptions of such objects as strongly excite those feelings, will be found to carry along with them a _purpose_.”
“Its main purpose is to make tons and tons of money and get big advertising sponsors.”
“But the IOC has proven that its main purpose is not to promote sports and fun and national competition.”
“I was checking the job listings on the site and they're main purpose is for short films/television specials including pre-existing Pixar characters.”
“But the main purpose is to increase accountability.”
“The main purpose is about greatly advancing the ideological goal of nationalizing the American economy.”
“Their main purpose is making money regardless how unethical or immoral their acts will impact the society at large.”
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