American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


PURSE, noun purs. [Latin byrsa, an ox hide; Gr. id.]

1. A small bag in which money is contained or carried in the pocket. It was formerly made of leather, and is still made of this material by common people. It is usually of silk net-work.

2. A sum of money offered as the prize of winning in a horse race.

3. In turkey, a sum of money, about f50 sterling, or $222.

4. The public coffers; the treasury; as, to exhaust a nation's purse or the public purse

Long purse or heavy purse wealth; riches.

Light purse or empty purse poverty, or want of resources.

Sword and purse the military power and wealth of a nation.

PURSE, verb transitive To put in a purse

1. To contract into folds or wrinkles.

Thou didst contract and purse thy blow.