purpose

purpose
1 noun
1 WHAT STH IS SUPPOSED TO DO (C) the thing that an event, process, or activity is supposed to achieve, or the job that something is supposed to do
—see reason 1 (+ of): The purpose of this meeting is to elect a new committee. | What is the purpose of the little red button? | the purpose of doing sth: The sole purpose of conducting a business is to make money. | serve a purpose (=have a particular purpose, or help you achieve a purpose): The discussion serves a twin purpose - instruction and feedback. | No useful purpose will be served by re-opening the murder enquiry.
2 on purpose deliberately: Jack's been really annoying me and I think he's doing it on purpose.
3 PLAN (C) formal an intention or a plan: Tom went for a walk, with no definite purpose in mind. | purpose in doing sth: My main purpose in setting up the experiment was to obtain fresh data.
4 AIM (U) the feeling of having an aim in life: I need to find meaning and purpose in my life.
5 for all practical purposes also for all intents and purposes used to say that something may not exactly be true but it is true in general: She became for all practical purposes, a director of the company.
6 for the purposes of used to say that someone or something will be considered in a particular way in a discussion, document etc: For tax purposes you will be treated as a married couple.
7 serve its purpose if something serves its purpose, it does what you intended it to do: Our holiday had served its purpose; we both felt thoroughly relaxed.
8 to good purpose/to no purpose formal with good results or with no results: Clara has used her musical talents to good purpose.
9 to the purpose old-fashioned useful or helpful
—see also: accidentally on purpose accidentally (2), purposely, cross­purposes 2 verb (T) old use to intend to do something: Drake purposed to voyage around the globe.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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  • 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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