What does purposeful mean?

Definitions for purposeful
ˈpɜr pəs fəlpur·pose·ful

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word purposeful.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. purposefuladjective

    serving as or indicating the existence of a purpose or goal

  2. purposefuladjective

    having meaning through having an aim

    "led a happy purposeful life"


  1. purposefuladjective

    Having purpose; intentional.

  2. purposefuladjective

    Having a purpose in mind; resolute; determined.


  1. purposeful

    Teleology (from τέλος, telos, 'end,' 'aim,' or 'goal,' and λόγος, logos, 'explanation' or 'reason') or finality is a reason or an explanation for something which serves as a function of its end, its purpose, or its goal, as opposed to something which serves as a function of its cause.A purpose that is imposed by human use, such as the purpose of a fork to hold food, is called extrinsic. Natural teleology, common in classical philosophy, though controversial today, contends that natural entities also have intrinsic purposes, regardless of human use or opinion. For instance, Aristotle claimed that an acorn's intrinsic telos is to become a fully grown oak tree. Though ancient atomists rejected the notion of natural teleology, teleological accounts of non-personal or non-human nature were explored and often endorsed in ancient and medieval philosophies, but fell into disfavor during the modern era (1600–1900). In the late 18th century, Immanuel Kant used the concept of telos as a regulative principle in his Critique of Judgment (1790). Contemporary philosophers and scientists still debate whether teleological axioms are useful or accurate in proposing modern philosophies and scientific theories. An example of the reintroduction of teleology into modern language is the notion of an attractor. Another instance is when Thomas Nagel (2012), though not a biologist, proposed a non-Darwinian account of evolution that incorporates impersonal and natural teleological laws to explain the existence of life, consciousness, rationality, and objective value. Regardless, the accuracy can also be considered independently from the usefulness: it is a common experience in pedagogy that a minimum of apparent teleology can be useful in thinking about and explaining Darwinian evolution even if there is no true teleology driving evolution. Thus it is easier to say that evolution "gave" wolves sharp canine teeth because those teeth "serve the purpose of" predation regardless of whether there is an underlying non-teleologic reality in which evolution is not an actor with intentions. In other words, because human cognition and learning often rely on the narrative structure of stories – with actors, goals, and immediate (proximate) rather than ultimate (distal) causation (see also proximate and ultimate causation) – some minimal level of teleology might be recognized as useful or at least tolerable for practical purposes even by people who reject its cosmologic accuracy. Its accuracy is upheld by Barrow and Tipler (1986), whose citations of such teleologists as Max Planck and Norbert Wiener are significant for scientific endeavor.


  1. purposeful

    Purposeful refers to something that is done with a specific aim, intention or objective in mind. It suggests a sense of determination or resolve, indicating that actions, behaviors or decisions are made consciously, deliberately and thoughtfully to achieve a particular goal. It also implies a sense of meaningfulness and direction.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Purposefuladjective

    important; material

Editors Contribution

  1. purposeful

    Having an intelligent, innovative, rational and logical purpose.

    The unity government have a strategy of utilizing public assets and transforming them into purposeful social enterprises.

    Submitted by MaryC on August 28, 2020  

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How to say purposeful in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of purposeful in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of purposeful in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of purposeful in a Sentence

  1. Lisa Haisha:

    SoulBlazing is a practice for blazing through your emotional baggage so that you can live a more purposeful life that’s aligned with your Authentic Self.

  2. Sarah Palin:

    Trump is the candidate giving voice to untold millions of fed-up Americans witnessing a purposeful destruction of our economy and the equal opportunity for success that made America exceptional, we're watching career politicians throw away our kids' future through bankrupting public budgets and ripping open our porous borders which, obvious to all us non-politicians, puts us at great risk.

  3. Eric Hoffer:

    The poor on the borderline of starvation live purposeful lives. To be engaged in a desperate struggle for food and shelter is to be wholly free from a sense of futility.

  4. Erich Fromm:

    We all dream we do not understand our dreams, yet we act as if nothing strange goes on in our sleep minds, strange at least by comparison with the logical, purposeful doings of our minds when we are awake.

  5. Garry Tew:

    The health benefits of less time spent sitting depend on what you replace the sitting time with, for example, standing, light movement, moderate activity, vigorous activity, in my opinion, standing is probably only marginally better than sitting, and. . . moderate-to-vigorous purposeful exercise is a much better strategy for improving general fitness and health.

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Translations for purposeful

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • útilSpanish
  • opzettelijk, vastberadenDutch
  • решительный, целенаправленный, целеустремлённый, умышленныйRussian

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"purposeful." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/purposeful>.

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    cause to be embarrassed; cause to feel self-conscious
    • A. abash
    • B. abase
    • C. scarper
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