Purse Purse, n. [OE. purs, pors, OF. burse, borse, bourse, F. bourse, LL. bursa, fr. Gr. ? hide, skin, leather. Cf. {Bourse}, {Bursch}, {Bursar}, {Buskin}.] 1. A small bag or pouch, the opening of which is made to draw together closely, used to carry money in; by extension, any receptacle for money carried on the person; a wallet; a pocketbook; a portemonnaie. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Who steals my purse steals trash. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence, a treasury; finances; as, the public purse. [1913 Webster]

3. A sum of money offered as a prize, or collected as a present; as, to win the purse; to make up a purse. [1913 Webster]

4. A specific sum of money; as: (a) In Turkey, the sum of 500 piasters. (b) In Persia, the sum of 50 tomans. [1913 Webster]

{Light purse}, or {Empty purse}, poverty or want of resources.

{Long purse}, or {Heavy purse}, wealth; riches.

{Purse crab} (Zo["o]l.), any land crab of the genus {Birgus}, allied to the hermit crabs. They sometimes weigh twenty pounds or more, and are very strong, being able to crack cocoanuts with the large claw. They chiefly inhabit the tropical islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, living in holes and feeding upon fruit. Called also {palm crab}.

{Purse net}, a fishing net, the mouth of which may be closed or drawn together like a purse. --Mortimer.

{Purse pride}, pride of money; insolence proceeding from the possession of wealth. --Bp. Hall.

{Purse rat}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Pocket gopher}, under {Pocket}.

{Sword and purse}, the military power and financial resources of a nation. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • purse — [pɜːs ǁ pɜːrs] noun [singular] 1. the amount of money that a person, organization, or country has available to spend: • We offer holidays to suit every purse. 2. the public purse ECONOMICS the money controlled by a government: • The project is a… …   Financial and business terms

  • Purse — Purse, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Pursed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Pursing}.] 1. To put into a purse. [1913 Webster] I will go and purse the ducats straight. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To draw up or contract into folds or wrinkles, like the mouth of a purse; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • purse — (n.) O.E. pursa little bag made of leather, from M.L. bursa purse (Cf. O.Fr. borse, 12c., Fr. bourse), from L.L., variant of byrsa hide, from Gk. byrsa hide, leather. Change of b to p perhaps by infl. of O.E. pusa, O.N. posi …   Etymology dictionary

  • purse — [pʉrs] n. [ME < OE purs < ML bursa, bag, purse < LL, hide < Gr byrsa] 1. a small bag or pouch for carrying money 2. financial resources; money 3. a sum of money collected as a present or given as a prize ☆ 4. a woman s handbag 5.… …   English World dictionary

  • Purse — Purse, v. i. To steal purses; to rob. [Obs. & R.] [1913 Webster] I ll purse: . . . I ll bet at bowling alleys. Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • purse — [n1] tote for carrying personal items bag, billfold, bursa, carryall, clutch, frame, handbag, hide, leather, lizard, moneybag, pocket, pocketbook, poke, pouch, receptacle, reticule, sack, wallet; concepts 339,446,450,494 purse [n2] award;… …   New thesaurus

  • purse — ► NOUN 1) a small pouch for carrying money. 2) N. Amer. a handbag. 3) money for spending; funds. 4) a sum of money given as a prize in a sporting contest. ► VERB ▪ (with reference to the lips) pucker or contract. ● …   English terms dictionary

  • purse — index reward, stake (award), treasury Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • purse — sb. (fk.) (præmiesum ved et boksestævne) …   Dansk ordbog

  • purse — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun 1 (esp. BrE) for carrying money ADJECTIVE ▪ leather ▪ change (AmE) VERB + PURSE ▪ open ▪ snatch …   Collocations dictionary

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