purse

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 "bag." Meaning "woman's handbag" is attested from 1955. Meaning "sum of money collected as a prize in a race, etc.," is from 1640s. The verb, "draw together and wrinkle" (as the strings of a money bag) is first recorded c.1600. Related: Pursed; pursing. Purse-strings, figurative for "control of money," is from early 15c. Purse-snatcher first attested 1902 (earlier purse-picker, 1540s). The notion of "drawn together by a thong" is also behind purse-net (c.1400).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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, 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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 — [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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