Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “purpose”

See all translations

purpose

noun
 
 
/ˈpɜːpəs/
REASON [C] B1 why you do something or why something exists: The main purpose of the meeting is to discuss the future of the company. The drug may be legalized for medical purposes.Goals and purposes
INTENTION [U] the feeling of knowing what you want to do: He seems to have lost all sense of purpose.Strength of will and determination
on purpose B1 intentionally: I didn't do it on purpose, it was an accident.Planning, expecting and arrangingPlotting and trapping
serve a purpose to have a use: These small village shops serve a very useful purpose. →  See also cross purposes , to/for all intents (and purposes) Goals and purposes
(Definition of purpose from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “purpose” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

escapism

a way of avoiding an unpleasant or boring life, especially by thinking, reading, etc. about more exciting but impossible activities

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

showrooming noun

February 23, 2015
the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

Read More