1 aim/function
chief, main, primary, prime, principal
practical, useful

These bars serve no useful purpose.


a general-purpose cleaning fluid


a group of individuals sharing a common purpose

particular, special, specific

a toy with the dual purpose of entertaining and developing memory skills

intended, stated

the view that art should serve a social purpose

accomplish, achieve, fulfil/fulfill, serve, suit

The plan achieved its primary purpose, if nothing else.

The article could serve the purpose of generating some discussion.

In my view such debates serve no useful purpose.


Computer-animated cartoons that depict humans realistically seem to defeat the whole purpose of animation.

for a/the purpose

I put the chair there for a purpose.

a measure introduced for the purpose of protecting the interests of investors

on purpose (= intentionally)

He slammed the door on purpose.

at cross purposes (= not understanding or having the same aims, etc. as each other)

I finally realized that we were talking at cross purposes.

for the express purpose of sth, with the express purpose of sth

The school was founded with the express purpose of teaching deaf children to speak.

for (all) practical purposes

Nominally she is the secretary, but for all practical purposes she runs the place.

your purpose in life

She saw being a doctor as her purpose in life.

put sth to (a/some) purpose

The same information can be put to many purposes

a sense of purpose

Encouraged by her example, they all set to work with a fresh sense of purpose.

strength of purpose

They had great confidence and strength of purpose.

2 purposes requirements of a particular situation
administrative, business, commercial, domestic, educational, insurance, legal, medical, medicinal, political, research, tax, teaching, training

You will need to have the vehicle valued for insurance purposes.


For comparative purposes, the populations of three other cities are also shown.

for … purpose

The drug can be sold for medicinal purposes only.

for the purposes of (also for the purpose of in AmE)

Let's assume he knows, for the purposes of our argument.

Collocations dictionary. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Purpose — is the cognitive awareness in cause and effect linking for achieving a goal in a given system, whether human or machine. Its most general sense is the anticipated result which guides decision making in choosing appropriate actions within a range… …   Wikipedia

  • purpose — UK US /ˈpɜːpəs/ noun ► [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… …   Financial and business terms

  • Purpose — Pur pose, n. [OF. purpos, pourpos, propos, L. propositum. See {Propound}.] 1. That which a person sets before himself as an object to be reached or accomplished; the end or aim to which the view is directed in any plan, measure, or exertion;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • purpose — [pʉr′pəs] vt., vi. purposed, purposing [ME purposen < OFr porposer, var. of proposer: see PROPOSE] to intend, resolve, or plan n. [ME < OFr porpos] 1. something one intends to get or do; intention; aim 2. resolution; determination …   English World dictionary

  • purpose — pur·pose / pər pəs/ n: an objective, effect, or result aimed at or attained; specif: the business activity in which a corporation is chartered to engage pur·pose·ful / fəl/ adj pur·pose·ful·ly adv pur·pose·ful·ness n Merriam Webster’s Dicti …   Law dictionary

  • purpose — [n1] intention, meaning, aim ambition, animus, aspiration, big idea*, bourn, calculation, design, desire, destination, determination, direction, dream, drift, end, expectation, function, goal, hope, idea, intendment, intent, mecca, mission,… …   New thesaurus

  • Purpose — Pur pose, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Purposed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Purposing}.] [OF. purposer, proposer. See {Propose}.] 1. To set forth; to bring forward. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 2. To propose, as an aim, to one s self; to determine upon, as some end or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • purpose — late 13c., from O.Fr. porpos aim, intention (12c.), from porposer to put forth, from por forth (from L. pro forth ) + O.Fr. poser to put, place (see POSE (Cf. pose)). On purpose by design is attested from 1580s; earlier of purpose …   Etymology dictionary

  • purpose — ► NOUN 1) the reason for which something is done or for which something exists. 2) resolve or determination. ► VERB formal ▪ have as one s objective. ● on purpose Cf. ↑on purpose ORIGIN …   English terms dictionary

  • Purpose — Pur pose, v. i. To have a purpose or intention; to discourse. [Obs.] Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • purpose — n *intention, intent, design, aim, end, object, objective, goal Analogous words: *ambition, aspiration: proposition, *proposal: *plan, project, scheme purpose vb propose, design, *intend, mean Anal …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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