on purpose

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

on purpose

  1. (idiomatic) By design, as opposed to by accident; intentionally; deliberately. [from 16th c.]
    Synonyms: deliberately, intentionally, purposefully, willfully
    Antonyms: by accident, on accident
    That wasn't an accident! You did it on purpose!
  2. (now rare) In order to (do something); with the objective that. [from 16th c.]
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling:
      Blifil bowed and stammered, and looked like a fool; but Western, without giving him time to form a speech for the purpose, answered, “Well, well, I am to blame, if you will, I always am, certainly; but come, let the girl be fetched back again, or let Mr Blifil go to her.——He’s come up on purpose, and there is no time to be lost.”
    • 1792, Charlotte Smith, Desmond, Broadview, published 2001, page 260:
      I send this to the town, on purpose to have it reach you by the earliest post [] .

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