Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
1. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists; an aim or goal: Her purpose in coming here is to talk to you. The purpose of an airliner is to transport people. See Synonyms at intention.
2. Determination; resolution: He was a man of purpose.
tr.v. pur·posed, pur·pos·ing, pur·pos·esIdioms:
To intend or resolve: "the gap between what is said and what is purposed" (Ian Donaldson).
to good purpose
With good results.
to little/no purpose
With few or no results.
[Middle English purpos, from Anglo-Norman, from purposer, to intend : pur-, forth (from Latin prō-; see pro-1) + poser, to put; see pose1.]
- all intents and purposes - A redundant phrase, created for emphasis.
- blamestorming - An intense discussion for the purposes of placing blame or assigning responsibility for a misdeed or failure.
- celebrant, celebrator, reveler - Celebrants take part in religious ceremonies; celebrators or revelers gather for purposes of revelry.
- teleology - The study of design in nature; the word's basic meaning is "the study of ends or purposes"—attempts to understand the purpose of a natural occurrence by looking at its results.