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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.