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From purpose +‎ -ive. Compare purpositive.



purposive (comparative more purposive, superlative most purposive)

  1. Serving a particular purpose; adapted to a given purpose, especially through natural evolution. [from 19th c.]
  2. Done or performed with a conscious purpose or intent. [from 19th c.]
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin 2003, p. 191:
      Other ecclesiastics [...] were similarly accepting of a space for purposive and beneficent human action and betterment in a disenchanted world.
  3. (psychology) Pertaining to purpose, as reflected in behaviour or mental activity. [from 19th c.]
  4. Pertaining to or demonstrating purpose. [from 19th c.]
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, p. 78:
      The world was generally agreed to be a purposive one, responsive to the wishes of its Creator […].
  5. Possessed of a firm purpose; determined, resolute. [from 20th c.]
  6. (grammar) Of a clause or conjunction: expressing purpose. [from 20th c.]

Usage notes[edit]

  • Objects: behavior, action, interpretation, sample, etc.

Related terms[edit]