purposes


Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.

pur·pose

 (pûr′pəs)
n.
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·es
To intend or resolve: "the gap between what is said and what is purposed" (Ian Donaldson).
Idioms:
on purpose
Intentionally; deliberately.
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.]

purposes

  • 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.
References in classic literature ?
But the rams need only cease to suppose that all that happens to them happens solely for the attainment of their sheepish aims; they need only admit that what happens to them may also have purposes beyond their ken, and they will at once perceive a unity and coherence in what happened to the ram that was fattened.
Seeing how important an organ of locomotion the tail is in most aquatic animals, its general presence and use for many purposes in so many land animals, which in their lungs or modified swim-bladders betray their aquatic origin, may perhaps be thus accounted for.
The recommendatory act of Congress is in the words following: "WHEREAS, There is provision in the articles of Confederation and perpetual Union, for making alterations therein, by the assent of a Congress of the United States, and of the legislatures of the several States; and whereas experience hath evinced, that there are defects in the present Confederation; as a mean to remedy which, several of the States, and PARTICULARLY THE STATE OF NEW YORK, by express instructions to their delegates in Congress, have suggested a convention for the purposes expressed in the following resolution; and such convention appearing to be the most probable mean of establishing in these States A FIRM NATIONAL GOVERNMENT:
I leave you a hundred pounds; and I write a private letter enjoining you, on taking the legacy, not to devote it to your own purposes, but to give it to some third person, whose name I have my own reasons for not mentioning in my will.
Having converted spies, getting hold of the enemy's spies and using them for our own purposes.
But whether any person is such by nature, and whether it is advantageous and just for any one to be a slave or no, or whether all slavery is contrary to nature, shall be considered hereafter; not that it is difficult to determine it upon general principles, or to understand it from matters of fact; for that some should govern, and others be governed, is not only necessary but useful, and from the hour of their birth some are marked out for those purposes, and others for the other, and there are many species of both sorts.
I believe these definitions to be adequate also to human purposes and desires, but for the present I am only occupied with animals and with what can be learnt by external observation.
It is well worthy of consideration therefore, whether it would conduce more to the interest of the people of America that they should, to all general purposes, be one nation, under one federal government, or that they should divide themselves into separate confederacies, and give to the head of each the same kind of powers which they are advised to place in one national government.
"A by-way to my purpose. I am the leading-string of the ego, and the prompter of its notions."
In this state of dark isolation a new resolution came to her, and grew and grew until it became a fixed definite purpose. She would face Caswall and call him to account for his murder of Lilla--that was what she called it to herself.
His wife used to insist upon our calling him so, but to no purpose. In August, 1832, my master attended a Methodist camp-meeting held in the Bay-side, Tal- bot county, and there experienced religion.
He had seemed to love it little in the years when every penny had its purpose for him; for he loved the purpose then.