Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “purse”

purse

noun [C]
 
 
/pɜːs/ FINANCE
[usually singular] the total amount of money that a person, organization, or government has available to spend: Having a lot of people out of work places a large drain on the public purse. The motor company sought to sell 'a car for every purse'.
an amount of money that is offered as a prize in a sports competition: The sponsorship deal includes a €10,000 purse for the winner of the tournament. → See also electronic purse
hold/control the purse strings to be in charge of a family's or organization's money and responsible for deciding what it will be spent on: She is the typical Japanese housewife who controls the family's purse strings.
loosen the purse strings to spend more money or to allow people to have or spend more money: He might even persuade the board to loosen the purse strings.
tighten the purse strings to spend less money or to allow people to have or spend less money: When a company needs to tighten the purse strings, outside labor is the first to get cut.
(Definition of purse from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of purse?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Containers for carrying personal possessions, but you might be interested in these topics from the Containers and vessels topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More Business English definitions for “purse”

Definitions of “purse” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

roost

When birds roost, they go somewhere to rest or sleep.

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More