Word family noun purpose purposefulnesspurposelessness adjective purposefulpurposeless adverb purposefullypurposelessly purposely
From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishpurposepur‧pose /ˈpɜːpəs $ ˈpɜːr-/ ●●● S2 W2 noun 1 [countable]PURPOSE the purpose of something is what it is intended to achievepurpose of The purpose of this meeting is to elect a new chairman. What is the purpose of your visit?the purpose of doing something The purpose of conducting a business is to make money.for the purpose of doing something Troops were sent solely for the purpose of assisting refugees.for medical/political/decorative etc purposes It should be legitimate to use cannabis for medical purposes.sole/primary/main etc purpose The protection of children is the primary purpose of this legislation.serve a purpose (=achieve something) It would serve no useful purpose to re-open the investigation.2 [countable] a plan or aim Nick had no particular purpose in mind when he started.somebody’s purpose in doing something Attending the race was not my purpose in coming to Indianapolis.with the purpose of doing something He came here with the purpose of carrying out the attack.3 for ... purposes4 on purpose5 feeling [uncountable]PURPOSE a feeling of determination to achieve things in life It’s so important to have a sense of purpose that it 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 purposes7 serve its purpose8 defeat the purpose9 to no purpose10 to the purpose purposely, cross-purposesCOLLOCATIONSMeanings 1 & 2adjectivesthe main/primary purposeThe main purpose of our trip to Arran was to see golden eagles.the sole purposeI used to bake cakes for the sole purpose of giving them away.the real purposeWhat was the real purpose of their visit?the whole purpose (=used for emphasis)The whole purpose of running a business is to make money.something’s original purposeThe building is no longer needed for its original purpose.a useful purposeNuclear weapons serve no useful purpose and should be banned.a practical purposeThese materials are too fine to have a practical purpose in daily life.a dual purpose (=two purposes)A dog can fulfil a dual purpose by providing both company and security.a common purpose (=one that people share)We were bound together by a common purpose.a specific/particular purposeTraining is the acquisition of knowledge and skills for a specific purpose.phrasesfor political/military/educational/medicinal etc purposesThis technology could be used for military purposes.for business/research etc purposesAbout one in five of all trips are made for business purposes.verbshave a purposeA meeting should have a clear purpose.serve/fulfil a purpose (=be used in a particular way)The building must have served a religious purpose.Many old school buildings are no longer suitable for fulfilling their original purpose.achieve your purpose (=achieve what you wanted to achieve)She had achieved her purpose, at least in part. THESAURUSpurpose the reason you do something, and the thing you want to achieve when you do itWhat is the purpose of your visit to England?The plant is used for medicinal purposes.aim what you want to achieve when you do somethingThe main aims of the project are as follows.Their ultimate aim is to find a cure for cancer.goal something that you hope to achieve in the future, even though this may take a long timeIt took Mandela over forty years to achieve his goal of a democratic South Africa.the goal of ending child povertyobjective something that you are working hard to achieve, especially in business or politicsThe bank achieved its objective of increasing its share of the market.The government’s long-term objective is to cut CO2 emissions by 50%.the object of something formal the specific purpose of an activityThe object of the game is to get as many points as possible.The students will benefit, and that must be the object of the exercise (=the main thing that you are trying to do). the point the purpose of doing something and the reason why it is right or necessaryAt fourteen, I couldn’t see the point of going to school.What’s the point in waiting? (=I don’t think it is useful or necessary)intention the purpose that you have in your mind when you do somethingHe kept his real intentions well hidden.Although we made a lot of money, this wasn’t our original intention.ends the result that someone is trying to achieve – used especially when you disapprove of what someone is doingThey are using religion for political ends.The ends do not justify the means (=you should not use violence, cruelty, dishonest behaviour etc to achieve your aims).
Examples from the Corpus
purposeThe central purpose is to hammer out long-term strategies for the nation as a whole.The games have an educational purpose.Defining that role is the main purpose of this chapter.The main purpose of the meeting is to discuss who will be in the team.My purpose in writing this book was to draw attention to the problem of global warming.Its body is dedicated to this one purpose.The group's purpose is to help disabled teenagers have fun and meet new friends.He always handled such events with the same purpose.This year, the picnic has a solemn purpose.The arbitrariness of this classification is well illustrated when an individual chooses, for tax purposes, to be regarded as self-employed.There is no penalty if the quarterback deliberately throws the ball out of bounds for the purpose of stopping play.The ritual done, we settle at last into fulfilling the purpose of this expedition.The purpose of the experiment is to find better ways of treating battlefield wounds.Read up on starting a small business. Loans can be obtained for this purpose.purpose ofThe purpose of this exercise is to increase your strength.somebody’s purpose in doing somethingAn immense pile of out-of-date articles will possibly obscure the purpose in view and deter the student from learning.For example, double or triple wall sheets that are used for glazing purposes in conservatories are ideal.Here the dislike serves a useful purpose in keeping the family as an isolated unit.The watchdog sees more purpose in changing demand with domestic water meters.Their purpose in coming here had been to intercede for the soul of Colonel Fergusson.This suggests as much as a triple purpose in Kant's analysis of our concern for animals.Today's reading, by Cardinal Newman, gives us the reassurance that there is a purpose in our lives.When he first came into office, Clinton did have a few grander purposes in mind, particularly universal health care.sense of purposeOh, for a sense of purpose.When that is taken away, the new retiree may no longer have a sense of purpose.Raised beds should have a sense of purpose, proportion and design.If large goals are broken down into small specified short-term tasks, a sense of purpose is created.The wing, I found, had inadequate focus and a fuzzy sense of purpose.Starting his own business gave him a new sense of purpose in his life.The Star was reborn in 1941 with a new format and a renewed sense of purpose.There are a couple of duds on Double Good Everything but there's also a sharper sense of purpose.
Origin purpose (1200-1300) Old French purpos, from purposer to intend, from Latin proponere; PROPOUND