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From Middle English purporten, from Anglo-Norman purporter and Old French porporter (convey, contain, carry), from pur-, from Latin pro (forth) + Old French porter (carry), from Latin portō (carry).


  • (verb, UK) IPA(key): /pəˈpɔːt/
  • (verb, US) IPA(key): /pɚˈpɔɹt/
  • (noun, UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɜːpɔːt/, /ˈpɜːpət/
  • (noun, US) IPA(key): /ˈpɚpɔɹt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔː(ɹ)t


purport (third-person singular simple present purports, present participle purporting, simple past and past participle purported)

  1. To convey, imply, or profess outwardly (often falsely).
    He purports himself to be an international man of affairs.
  2. (construed with to) To intend.
    He purported to become an international man of affairs.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


purport (plural purports)

  1. import, intention or purpose
    • 1748, David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
      My practice, you say, refutes my doubts. But you mistake the purport of my question.
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 4, chapter I, Aristocracies
      Sorrowful, phantasmal as this same Double Aristocracy of Teachers and Governors now looks, it is worth all men’s while to know that the purport of it is, and remains, noble and most real.
    • 1939, Ernest Vincent Wright, Gadsby
      A child’s brain starts functioning at birth; and has, amongst its many infant convolutions, thousands of dormant atoms, into which God has put a mystic possibility for noticing an adult’s act, and figuring out its purport.
  2. (obsolete) disguise; covering
    • (Can we date this quote by Spenser and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      For she her sex under that strange purport / Did use to hide.