purpose

pur|pose
W3S1 [ˈpə:pəs US ˈpə:r-] n
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1
2 purposes
3
4 on purpose
5¦(feeling)¦
6 for all practical purposes
7 serve its purpose
8 defeat the purpose
9 to no purpose
10 to the purpose
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[Date: 1200-1300; : Old French; Origin: purpos, from purposer 'to intend', from Latin proponere; PROPOUND]
1.) [C usually singular]
the purpose of something is what it is intended to achieve
purpose of
The purpose of this meeting is to elect a new chairman.
What is the purpose of your visit?
the purpose of doing sth
The purpose of conducting a business is to make money.
for/with the purpose of doing sth
Troops were sent solely for the purpose of assisting refugees.
He came here with the purpose of carrying out the attack.
sole/primary/main etc purpose
The protection of children is the primary purpose of this legislation.
2.) purposes [plural]
the reasons that explain why something is needed or why it is considered in a particular way
Several of the items had religious purposes .
for medical/political/decorative etc purposes
It should be legitimate to use cannabis for medical purposes.
For tax purposes , you will be treated as a married couple.
The details are, for the present purposes , irrelevant.
for the purposes of sth
For the purposes of this book, America is taken to include the continent north of Mexico.
3.)
a plan or aim
Nick had no particular purpose in mind when he started.
sb's purpose in doing sth
Attending the race was not my purpose in coming to Indianapolis.
serve a purpose
(=achieve a particular aim)
It would serve no useful purpose to re-open the investigation.
4.) on purpose
deliberately
do sth on purpose
You make it sound as if I did it on purpose!
5.) ¦(FEELING)¦[U]
a feeling of determination to achieve things in life
It's so important to have a sense of purpose that underlies human happiness
My football career was over and I had no purpose in life .
He possessed great strength of purpose .
6.) for all practical purposes also to all intents and purposes
used to say that something is so close to the truth that it can be considered to be the truth
The war, to all intents and purposes, was over.
We have a Secretary of State for Scotland who is for all practical purposes a Scottish Prime Minister.
7.) serve its purpose
if something has served its purpose, it has done what you needed it to do
We delete the data once it has served its purpose.
8.) defeat the purpose
to fail to achieve the result you want
Anxiety will cause tension, which defeats the purpose of the exercise (=the activity or plan) .
9.) to no purpose
formal without any useful results
She called after them, but to no purpose.
10.) to the purpose
old-fashioned useful or helpful

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Purpose — is the cognitive awareness in cause and effect linking for achieving a goal in a given system, whether human or machine. Its most general sense is the anticipated result which guides decision making in choosing appropriate actions within a range… …   Wikipedia

  • purpose — UK US /ˈpɜːpəs/ noun ► [C] the reason for doing something or the reason that something exists: sb s purpose in doing sth »My purpose in calling this meeting was to remind everyone of some basic rules. with/for the purpose of (doing) sth »He… …   Financial and business terms

  • Purpose — Pur pose, n. [OF. purpos, pourpos, propos, L. propositum. See {Propound}.] 1. That which a person sets before himself as an object to be reached or accomplished; the end or aim to which the view is directed in any plan, measure, or exertion;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • purpose — [pʉr′pəs] vt., vi. purposed, purposing [ME purposen < OFr porposer, var. of proposer: see PROPOSE] to intend, resolve, or plan n. [ME < OFr porpos] 1. something one intends to get or do; intention; aim 2. resolution; determination …   English World dictionary

  • purpose — pur·pose / pər pəs/ n: an objective, effect, or result aimed at or attained; specif: the business activity in which a corporation is chartered to engage pur·pose·ful / fəl/ adj pur·pose·ful·ly adv pur·pose·ful·ness n Merriam Webster’s Dicti …   Law dictionary

  • purpose — [n1] intention, meaning, aim ambition, animus, aspiration, big idea*, bourn, calculation, design, desire, destination, determination, direction, dream, drift, end, expectation, function, goal, hope, idea, intendment, intent, mecca, mission,… …   New thesaurus

  • Purpose — Pur pose, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Purposed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Purposing}.] [OF. purposer, proposer. See {Propose}.] 1. To set forth; to bring forward. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 2. To propose, as an aim, to one s self; to determine upon, as some end or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • purpose — late 13c., from O.Fr. porpos aim, intention (12c.), from porposer to put forth, from por forth (from L. pro forth ) + O.Fr. poser to put, place (see POSE (Cf. pose)). On purpose by design is attested from 1580s; earlier of purpose …   Etymology dictionary

  • purpose — ► NOUN 1) the reason for which something is done or for which something exists. 2) resolve or determination. ► VERB formal ▪ have as one s objective. ● on purpose Cf. ↑on purpose ORIGIN …   English terms dictionary

  • Purpose — Pur pose, v. i. To have a purpose or intention; to discourse. [Obs.] Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • purpose — n *intention, intent, design, aim, end, object, objective, goal Analogous words: *ambition, aspiration: proposition, *proposal: *plan, project, scheme purpose vb propose, design, *intend, mean Anal …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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