Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The officer in charge of money matters on board a ship or commercial aircraft.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The person responsible for handling the accounts on a ship, or for dealing with the passengers on a ship or aircraft.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A commissioned officer in the navy who had charge of the provisions, clothing, and public moneys on shipboard; -- now called paymaster.
  • n. A clerk on steam passenger vessels whose duty it is to keep the accounts of the vessels, such as the receipt of freight, tickets, etc.
  • n. Colloquially, any paymaster or cashier.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An official charged with the keeping of accounts and the disbursing of money; specifically, an officer who keeps the accounts of a ship, and has charge of the provisions, pay, etc.: now called in the navy paymaster.
  • n. In mining, the paymaster or cashier of a mine, and the official to whom notices of transfer are sent for registration in the cost-book.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an officer aboard a ship who keeps accounts and attends to the passengers' welfare

Etymologies

Middle English, from purse, purse; see purse.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • But the day before she was due to leave us, she called the purser's office for help setting up an itinerary that would get her to N. Compeuia.

    The Dragon Never Sleeps

  • Town, with a certain Irish purser, who is as well known as he is respected among the leviathan old negro ladies, it would be hard to find.

    Travels in West Africa

  • Christensen calls the purser and tells her to get all of the flight attendants out of the crew rest quarters, and he orders the relief first officers back up to the cockpit.

    Touching History

  • The guests at 4: 05 in the morning specifically called the purser's desk and said that he had a noise complaint.

    CNN Transcript Jan 11, 2006

  • Philip had decided to appoint a new official, called the purser, whose job it would be to receive all monies due to the priory, with no exceptions, and then give out to each official just what he needed.

    The Pillars of the Earth

  • I must complete with water and stores, naturally, but my purser is a capable man.

    Hornblower In The West Indies

  • The purser was a sharp-faced gnome who wore his Panagra uniform as though it were a sack.

    The Space Merchants

  • The Captain and the purser were the only two who did gamble going over, and they were very fond of poker.

    Forty Years a Gambler on the Mississippi

  • The purser was the shadow of a man, very regular in his accounts, fond of peach-water, playing the flute, of going on shore, receiving his necessary money and taking all imaginable care of number one.

    A Sailor of King George

  • Eventually, by dint of zealous enquiry, I ascertained that the purser was the person charged with the assignment of berths and staterooms.

    Fibble, D.D.

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