purpose Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “purpose” in the English Dictionary

"purpose" in British English

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purposenoun

uk   /ˈpɜː.pəs/  us   /ˈpɝː-/
B1 [C] why you do something or why something ​exists: The purpose of the ​research is to ​try to ​find out more about the ​causes of the ​disease. His only purpose in ​lifeseems to be to ​enjoy himself. Her ​main/​primary purpose in suing the ​newspaper for ​libel was to ​clear her ​name. I came to Brighton for/with the express purpose ofseeing you. Letters whose sole purpose is to make a ​politicalpoint will not be ​published. She had the ​operationentirely forcosmetic purposes. a multi-purpose ​kitchenknife I can ​see no ​useful purpose in ​continuing this ​conversation. All my ​efforts were to no purpose (= ​failed). He gave her a ​sum of ​money which she used to good purpose (= well).on purpose B1 If you do something on purpose, you do it ​intentionally, not by ​accident: I didn't do it on purpose - it was an ​accident.C2 [U] determination or a ​feeling of having a ​reason for what you do: I've always ​admired her for her ​strength of purpose. Parenthood would give him a ​sense of purpose. [C] a need: We haven't ​yetmanaged to ​find new ​premises that are ​suitable for ​our purposes. The ​fabric I ​bought isn't ​exactly what I ​wanted, but it will serve my purposes (= ​fulfil my ​needs).serve a purpose C2 to have a use: These ​smallvillageshopsserve a very ​useful purpose.

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(Definition of purpose from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"purpose" in American English

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purposenoun

 us   /ˈpɜr·pəs/
  • purpose noun (REASON)

[C/U] an ​intention or ​aim; a ​reason for doing something or for ​allowing something to ​happen: [C] For ​budgeting purposes, you really have to ​start estimating ​costs now. [C] The ​delay really ​served no good purpose and may have harmed the ​negotiation.on purpose If you do something on purpose, you do it ​intentionally: This is the second ​time in a ​row that he didn’t show up, and I ​believe he did it on purpose. [C/U] Purpose is also ​determination: [U] The ​project gave him a ​renewedsense of purpose.
  • purpose noun (RESULT)

[C] an ​intendedresult or use: This ​budget is ​designed to ​meet one purpose and one purpose only, to do what is ​best for the ​economy.
(Definition of purpose from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"purpose" in Business English

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purposenoun

uk   us   /ˈpɜːpəs/
[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 ofadvertising our ​services.for tax/business/insurance purposes He ​pays himself a ​smallsalary 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.
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 ​shopsserve a very useful purpose.
be to no purpose to be completely unsuccessful: All my ​efforts were to no purpose.
(Definition of purpose from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“purpose” in American English

“purpose” in Business English

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