› [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 learnt Chinese for the express purpose of starting a business there. I went to the conference with the sole purpose of advertising our services.for tax/business/insurance purposes He pays himself a small salary for tax purposes. I can see no useful purpose in speaking to him again. You need to assure shareholders that their investment is being used to good purpose. › [U] determination or a feeling of having a reason for what you do: You need a strong sense of purpose to start your own company. › [C] a need of a particular person or organization: We haven't yet managed to find new premises that are suitable for our purposes. This fabric isn't ideal, but it will serve our purposes. → See also general-purpose, multi-purpose
on purpose › intentionally, not by accident: I know you didn't delete the database on purpose, but please be more careful.
serve a purpose › to have a use: These small village shops serve a very useful purpose.
be to no purpose › to be completely unsuccessful: All my efforts were to no purpose.