purse Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “purse” in the English Dictionary

"purse" in British English

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pursenoun

uk   /pɜːs/  us   /pɝːs/
  • purse noun (CONTAINER)

A2 [C] UK (US change purse) a ​smallcontainer for ​money, usually used by a woman: a ​leather purse
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[C] US a handbag

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • purse noun (AMOUNT TO SPEND)

[C usually singular] the ​totalamount of ​money that an ​organization or ​government has ​available for ​spending: Having a lot of ​people out of ​workplaces a ​largedrain on the public purse.

purseverb [T]

uk   /pɜːs/  us   /pɝːs/
(Definition of purse from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"purse" in American English

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pursenoun [C]

 us   /pɜrs/
  • purse noun [C] (BAG)

a ​bag, often with a ​handle or a ​strap going over the ​shoulder, used esp. by women for ​carryingmoney, ​keys, and ​smallpersonalitems such as makeup; a ​pocketbook
  • purse noun [C] (AMOUNT OF MONEY)

an ​amount of ​moneyoffered as a ​prize in a ​sportingcompetition, or the ​totalamount of ​moneyavailable for ​spending: Yesterday’s ​race had a purse ​worth over $100,000.

purseverb [T]

 us   /pɜrs/
  • purse verb [T] (MOVE LIPS)

to ​bringyourlipstightly together so that they ​form a ​roundedshape: She pursed her ​lips and said nothing.
(Definition of purse from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"purse" in Business English

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pursenoun [C]

uk   us   /pɜːs/ FINANCE
[usually singular] the ​totalamount of ​money that a ​person, ​organization, or ​government has ​available to ​spend: Having a lot of ​people out of ​workplaces a large ​drain on the ​public purse. The motor ​companysought to ​sell 'a ​car for every purse'.
an ​amount of ​money that is ​offered as a ​prize in a sports ​competition: The ​sponsorshipdealincludes a €10,000 purse for the ​winner of the tournament.
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 ​allowpeople 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 ​allowpeople to have or ​spend less ​money: When a ​companyneeds 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)
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“purse” in Business English

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