Definition of purpose in English:


Line breaks: pur|pose
Pronunciation: /ˈpəːpəs



[with object] formal Back to top  
  • Have as one’s intention or objective: God has allowed suffering, even purposed it
    More example sentences
    • Informal or intimate talk is purposed to establish and maintain social contacts with others, making social connections, developing and reinforcing intimate relationships.
    • This artful temple was purposed to inspire, still and deeply touch the traveller.
    • This lane is purposed to speed the transport of vehicles who were deliberate about pooling resources, and conserving time and energy.
    intend, mean, aim, plan, design, have the intention, have in mind, have a mind; decide, resolve, determine, propose, have plans, set out, aspire, desire, want, wish, expect, hope; set one's sights on, have in view, contemplate, think of


accidentally on purpose

informal Apparently by accident but in fact intentionally: it was not so easy for him to contrive to meet her accidentally on purpose
More example sentences
  • Seriously, my last passport picture was so ugly, I used to contemplate losing the passport accidentally on purpose, to get out of ten years of having to show that monstrosity to immigration officers around the world.
  • Somehow, possibly accidentally on purpose, this festival seems to have managed to almost totally exclude the student body.
  • Was that an accident, or accidentally on purpose?

on purpose

Intentionally: he was being annoying on purpose
More example sentences
  • Technically speaking, the Bhopal tragedy was an accident, in that it was not done on purpose.
  • Does anybody realise that buses actually drive through the traffic jams or are they coming late on purpose just to annoy you?
  • Successful people are not gifted; they just work hard, then succeed on purpose.

to no purpose

With no result or effect; pointlessly: there’s no point in hanging about to no purpose
More example sentences
  • A retrial would not benefit him and would result in heavy costs being incurred and court time wasted to no purpose.
  • The military were left to fight it out to no purpose whatsoever.
  • Now it has to be pursued with all vigour, usually to no purpose at all.

to the purpose

Relevant or useful: you may have heard something from them which is to the purpose
More example sentences
  • At the commencement of the mission, all material relevant to the purpose of the mission should be made available to it, with the assistance of the organization concerned.
  • Information provided needs to be accurate, current, and relevant to the purpose of the magazine.
  • More emphasis should be placed on describing interventions that are particularly relevant to the purpose of the case report.
pertinent, applicable, apposite, material, apropos, to the point, germane, admissible, relevant; appropriate, apt, fitting, suitable, proper; connected, related, linked; Latin ad rem
rare appurtenant


Middle English: from Old French porpos, from the verb porposer, variant of proposer (see propose).

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