Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.


1. Having a purpose; intentional: a purposeful musician.
2. Having or manifesting purpose; determined: entered the room with a purposeful look.

pur′pose·ful·ly adv.
pur′pose·ful·ness n.


  1. Came around … deliberately like the gun turret of a great ship —Donald McCaig
  2. Dedicated as a Japanese artist who has found the flower he must paint all his life —William Mcllvanney
  3. Deliberate as a bee taking honey —Molly Kean
  4. Deliberate as a dog sniffing out a buried bone —Anon
  5. Effort as conscious and deliberate as holding his breath under water —William Peden

    From a short story entitled Night in Funland, this refers to a character’s effort to control his emotions.

  6. Had a plan … simple as Cain’s —Alma and Paul Ellerbe
  7. His time was organized, planned like the timetable of a battle maneuver —Arthur A. Cohen
  8. Intent as a cannibal at breakfast —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  9. Intent as a collector —W. H. Auden
  10. Men, like nails, lose their usefulness when they lose their direction and begin to bend —Walter Savage Landor
  11. Method is like packing things in a box; a good packer will get in half as much again as a bad one —Richard Cecil
  12. Moved like a steamroller, in a straight line, crushing everything that was in her way —Margaret Millar
  13. My will is like a long pencil, it must be sharpened —Delmore Schwartz
  14. (I have always envied the man who found one single role and) played it [a role or life plan], clung and grew to it like a barnacle on a ship —George Garrett

    See Also: CLINGING

  15. Rehearsed her sensuality like a summa-cum student —Francine du Plessix Gray

    See Also: SEX

  16. (Somewhere in the earth is a drain of) resolution filling as a fresh teapot —Daniela Gioseffi
  17. (He had) a resolution in him like an iron bar —Wallace Stegner
  18. Schemed like Arabs —Thomas McGuane
  19. (Ruthless and) singleminded as birds of prey —George Garrett
  20. Used her charm like a tennis racket —Delmore Schwartz
  21. Will without power is like children playing at soldiers —George Canning
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.purposefulness - the quality of having a definite purpose
meaningfulness - the quality of having great value or significance
aimlessness, purposelessness - the quality of lacking any definite purpose




[ˈpɜːpəsfʊlnɪs] Nresolución f


References in periodicals archive ?
A clear example of his purposefulness is the rapprochement he brought about between Cuba and the US last December.
The purposefulness of the motors resembles that of the spellbound brooms in Disney's Fantasia, relentlessly carrying buckets of water up the castle stairs.
The difference has been Bowman but, moreover, enhanced purposefulness and potency in the final third.
These special Awards are designed to recognise students from all subject areas within the Directorate who have shown exceptional grit, determination, purposefulness, application and commitment to their studies.
One can only see a political purposefulness in the insistence of creditors on new cuts in pensions after five years of looting under the bailouts," Tsipras said in a statement to Greek newspaper Ton Syntakton.
Such moments have the power to stimulate us back into existence and purposefulness.
In fact, the component of purposefulness in life means having long-term and short-term goals in life and make them meaningful.
But this tidy sense of disengagement comes at a great cost: One forgoes passion, fascination and an urgent sense of purposefulness in order to preserve inwardly focused self-regulation.
For readers like me, Pask also confers hitherto unrecognized intelligibility and purposefulness on the writings of Lewis and Tolkein, at the same time elucidating the connection in their minds between fairy writing (fantasy) and Christian faith.
The cockpit's sense of minimalism adds to the purposefulness of the driver-focused environment with an emphasis on light weight components such as the composite seat covered with just the right amount of padding in only the areas that come into contact with the driver.
Thus, it is unquestioned demand for a focus on determining the purposefulness of new service development and comparing it with other courses on development.