purpose ( purposes plural )
1 n-count The purpose of something is the reason for which it is made or done.
The purpose of the occasion was to raise money for medical supplies..., Various insurance schemes already exist for this purpose., ...the use of nuclear energy for military purposes..., He was asked about casualties, but said it would serve no purpose to count bodies...
2 n-count Your purpose is the thing that you want to achieve.
They might well be prepared to do you harm in order to achieve their purpose..., His purpose was to make a profit by improving the company's performance.
3 n-uncount Purpose is the feeling of having a definite aim and of being determined to achieve it.
The teachers are enthusiastic and have a sense of purpose.
5 You use for all practical purposes or to all intents and purposes to suggest that a situation is not exactly as you describe it, but the effect is the same as if it were.
for all practical purposes/to all intents and purposes phrase PHR with cl
For all practical purposes the treaty has already ceased to exist...
6 If you do something on purpose, you do it intentionally.
on purpose phrase PHR after v
(=intentionally) Was it an accident or did David do it on purpose?
You use all-purpose to refer to things that have lots of different uses or can be used in lots of different situations. adj ADJ n
Use all-purpose flour if you cannot find pastry flour.
A purpose-built building has been specially designed and built for a particular use.
(mainly BRIT) adj
The company has recently moved into a new purpose-built factory.
in AM, usually use custom-built
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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"