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Definition of "purposive" [pur•po•sive]

  • Having or serving a purpose. (adjective)
  • Purposeful: purposive behavior. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "purposive" in a sentence
  • "There is, moreover, a scientific view and method regarding what he calls the purposive view which he overlooks entirely, and which by emphasis of the causal, makes seemingly impossible."
  • "* Behavior which is merely “functional” but not purposive, that is, behavior that is useful as judged by observers but unbeknown to the actor, nor deliberately sought by the actor, is not rational in the terms used here and by many others."
  • "Thus we see that while physical causation is still thought to be basic, it is the notion of purposive causa - tion, and of legal policy (the law's purposes) that mod - ern lawyers think of when the idea of legal causation comes to mind."