From Middle English, from Old English purs (“purse”), partly from Old English pusa (“wallet, bag, scrip”), and partly from Old English burse (“pouch, bag”).
Old English pusa comes from Proto-Germanic *pusô (“bag, sack, scrip”), from Proto-Indo-European *būs- (“to swell, stuff”), and is cognate with Old High German pfoso (“pouch, purse”), Low German pūse (“purse, bag”), Old Norse posi (“purse, bag”), Danish pose (“purse, bag”). Old English burse comes from Medieval Latin bursa (“leather bag”) (compare English bursar), from Ancient Greek βύρσα (bursa, “hide, wine-skin”).
Compare also Old French borse (French: bourse), Old Saxon bursa (“bag”), Old High German burissa (“wallet”).
purse (plural purses)
- A small bag for carrying money.
- 1550 Mierdman, Steuen, The market or fayre of usurers
- And then muſt many a man occupie as farre as his purſe would reache, and ſtretche out his legges accordynge to the length of his couerlet.
- (US) A handbag (small bag usually used by women for carrying various small personal items)
- A quantity of money given for a particular purpose.
- 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses, Episode 12, The Cyclops
- It was a historic and a hefty battle when Myler and Percy were scheduled to don the gloves for the purse of fifty sovereigns.
Derived terms 
Related terms 
small bag for carrying money
- Afrikaans: geldsakkie (af)
- Arabic: جزدان (ar) (jizdān) m, محفظة (ar) (miḥfaẓa) f
- Armenian: քսակ (hy) (kʿsak)
- Azeri: pul kisəsi (az)
- Belarusian: кашалёк (be) (kašaljók) m
- Bulgarian: портмоне (bg) (portmoné) n
- Mandarin: 錢包 (cmn), 钱包 (cmn) (qiánbāo)
- Czech: peněženka (cs) f
- Dutch: handtas (nl) f
- Esperanto: monujo (eo)
- Estonian: rahakott (et), kukkur (et)
- Faroese: pungur (fo) m, pengapungur (fo) m
- Finnish: rahapussi (fi), kukkaro (fi)
- French: bourse (fr) f, portemonnaie (fr) f
- Georgian: საფულე (ka) (sap'ule)
- German: Geldbörse (de) f, Geldbeutel (de) m
- Greek: πορτοφόλι (el) (portofóli) n
- Hebrew: ארנק (he) (arnak) m
- Hindi: पर्स (hi) (pars), बटुआ (hi) (baṭu'ā)
- Hungarian: erszény (hu)
- Irish: sparán (ga) m, sparáin (ga) pl
- Italian: portafoglio (it) m, borsa (it) f, borsellino (it) m
- Japanese: 財布 (ja) (さいふ, saifu), パース (ja) (pāsu), 札入れ (ja) (さついれ, satsuire)
small bag used by women for carrying personal items
See also 
purse (third-person singular simple present purses, present participle pursing, simple past and past participle pursed)
- (transitive) To press (one's lips) in and together so that they protrude.
- (intransitive, obsolete, rare) To steal purses; to rob.
- Beaumont and Flanders
- I'll purse: […] I'll bet at bowling alleys.
press (the lips) together
purse (genitive purske, partitive purset)
- spurt, gush
- This Estonian noun needs an inflection-table template.
Derived terms 
pursua, pursuta >
- (metallurgy) flash
Declension of purse (type hame