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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Purpos, -pois, n. Also: pwr-; por-, poir-; pour- and -pos(s)e, -poes; -poiss, -poise, -poys; -pus; -pes; -pas. [ME and e.m.E. purpos (c1300), -pose (a1325), -poos (Chaucer), porpos (c1290), -puse (1517), pourpos (Gower), -pas (c1400), ME also perpos (c1325), OF por-, pur-, pourpos (12th c. in Godef.) (later propos, after L. prōpositum), f. porposer Purpos v. (Cf. also Propos(e n.)] Purpose, or a purpose, in various usual senses and applications.

I. 1. a. The object that one has set oneself; one's objective, end, aim. b. The fact of intending to do something; (one's) intention, resolution, determination.To fail of (one's) purpose, see Fail(l v. 5, Failȝe v. 6 b.(1) 1375 Barb. viii 122 (E).
Sen thar purpos sa with thaim ȝeid
Ib. xi 283.
Is gud we ordane now How we may let thaim of thar purpos [C. of purpos]
Ib. v 261. a1400 Leg. S. xxiv 280, xlviii 188. c1420 Wynt. iv 2573.
Till his purpos [C. purposse] and his thoucht At ese hys wyll in all wes wroucht
Ib. vi 2496.
And all the weddrys … Wes to thare purpos [v.rr. purposse, -pois] all contrayre
Ib. vii 68.
To do thi purpos as a knycht
Ib. vi 1534, vii 94, viii 5437, etc. 1456 Hay II 148/24.
And mend it gif thou can better to thy purpos
Ib. I 20/30, 82/31, 287/16. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 150. c1475 Wall. vi 676.
I will nocht rid agayne, As at this tyme, my purpos is in playne
1490 Irland Mir. I 117/2.
And tharfor keip thi purpos
1513 Doug. iv ix 7.
Hir purpos by hir vissage dissymuland
Ib. v xii 89, viii Prol. 159. 1529 Lynd. Complaynt 122. 1531 Bell. Boece II 348. 1544 Corr. M. Lorraine 111.
To parswade bayth lordis and gentilmen to yowr gracis purpos
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 905. 1567 Sat. P. v 18.
I grant ȝour interpryse was gude, Ȝour purpose worthy till allow
1570 Leslie 13.
To performe hir awne purpose
1581 Melvill 91. a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 350 (W). 1596 Dalr. II 96/21. 1629 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. III 13.
Becaus thair purpose misgave thame they have conceaved ane deidlie haitrent [etc.]
(b) 1533 Bell. Livy I 164/34.
Brokin of thare purpois be vnawarnist cummyng of Romane legiouns
1545 Douglas Corr. 161.
And the kingis majestes pwrpois cwm not to effect
1549 Treas. Acc. IX 331. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 5892. 1558-66 Knox I 109.
That the governour mycht be called back to his formar godly purpoise
1567 Anderson Collect. Mary I 101.
Bot is partlie frustrat and put by our purpois, for lake [etc.]
1567 G. Ball. 42. 1568 Buch. Indict. 34.
Quhasaeuer lost thinkeing to gayn … hir intentit purpois
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 272.
The Frenchmen seand [etc.] … left thair first purpois, and returnit agane to Striueling
a1578 Pitsc. II 221/31, 287/19. 1593 Acts IV 45/1.
For … setting fordwart of thair seditious purpois
1622-6 Bisset II 356/17. c1650 Spalding I 287.(c) c1554 Makeson Genesis fol. 3.
Sa greit confusione That brak thair porpos sa heythly taen
(d) 1562 Edinb. Hammermen 252b.
Gif he mycht haue fulfillit his wikit pourpois
(e) 1596 Dalr. II 396/22.
Intending … to bring thair purpes til end, tha … acceptet to thair cumpanie sum notable clattireris
(2) c1420 Wynt. vi 1647.
Bot Makbeth-Fynlak … That purpos lettyd till be downe
Ib. viii 228.
He … lefft the purpos that he had tane
Ib. vii 2305. The will and the purpos makis … difference betuix gude and evill. 1456 Hay I 88/10, 12.
Than sen it is sa that in gude entent, gude will and gude purpos he undertuke the said juperdye [etc.]
1513 Doug. xii viii 103.
Diuers thochtis … Hys mynd in mony contrar purpos sent
Ib. ii i 50. 1549 Compl. 136/28.
That thai suld al concur … in ane purpose
1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 97. 1566 Q. Mary in Lennox Mun. 351.
He mysknawis that he hes ony sic purpos in hede
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. ii 519.
Quae mens: quhat purpose
a1578 Pitsc. I 37 h. of ch.
Hou the governour and the chancellar was finallie appointed in all matteris and purposis
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 122.
Quhereby we … can never bide at na good purpose
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 236.
He past first to the east marches and pacefeit all purposes thair
1615 Denmylne MSS in Highland P. III 251.
And not vpoun ony treasonable purpose or cours
(b) 1535 Stewart 52601.
Syne tuke purpois [etc.] … Off this purpois quhen that King Edward kend [etc.]
Ib. 46543. 1544 Corr. M. Lorraine 116. 1545 Douglas Corr. 160.
That thingis schwld be laborit for the part of Scotland to ane ressonabel purpois at the said conwention
1559–60 Soc. Ant. XI 525.
For it is notourlie knauin that scho was oft tymes in vehement seiknes nocht myndful of warldli purpoissis
1558-66 Knox II 133.
When that thei thowght tyme to putt thair bloody counsall in executioun, and for that purpoise conclusioun was tackin that the king should departe of the toune [etc.]
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xvii 17.
Sa hie ane purpois for to tak in hand
1571 Ferg. Serm. iii Malachi in 1563-72 Tracts 64.
As it is but loste laubour and a vane purpois to perswade men to repent that acknawledgis na fault
a1578 Pitsc. I 16/32, 17/28, 32/11. 1582 Crim. Trials I ii 108.
Seing the first purpois to misgif
c1615 Chron. Kings 126.
The first purpois the Regent intendis to do wes to [etc.]
16.. Hist. Kennedy 23.
Finding me lord bentt on sik ane purpoise
1623 Aberd. Council Lett. I 218.
For quhilk purpois thair is a meeting of some noblemen
1622-6 Bisset II 352/10.
Asked … quhat moved him … to stay his sua sumptuous a jornay and purpoise
1629 Justiciary Cases I 132.
Quha uses devillisch meanis to attene to quhatsumeuir purpois or end
1638 Dumbarton B. Rec. 56.
Suspecting sche be cum with munition for na guid purpois
(c) 1547 Cal. Sc. P. I 4.
And the King of Franchis mynd be gotteyn to this porpos
a1578 Pitsc. II 53/6.
Bothewell … ȝeid bakwart … in all porpossis that he tuik in hand
(d) 1613 Southesk MSS 14.
The gude pourpose … is so far proceided as [etc.]
(3) c1420 Ratis R. 599.
The haly gaist … falȝeis nocht Quhill gud purpos be brocht to end
Ib. 1400.
Sen hail purpos & gret ȝarnyng Can gud dissert ay to thé bring
c1420 Wynt. v 1294.
Na ware hys counsalle made hym lete And hym on othyr purpos set
1456 Hay I 88/12.
That in gude entent, gude will and gude purpos, he undertuke the said juperdye
Ib. 256/23.
Bataill taking cumis of lang forset and forethocht purpos of malice
Ib. 302/2.
For mony learis … flechis lordis … and settis thame in wrang and evill purpos
Ib. II 88/15. 1533 Bell. Livy I 84/23.
That this divinoure impeschit him of honorabill purpois
(4) c1475 Wall. ix 1598.
Throucht help off him purpos ye may fullfill
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) xxxix 27.
Purpos dois change as wynd or rane
(5) 1375 Barb. v 452 (C).
He … has till his purpos tane To byg the castell vp agane
c1420 Wynt. v 4705.
Hale hys purpos [C. purposse] he set than For to becum the Devillis man
Ib. vii 2892.
In till pilgrymage to pas Till Cawntyrbery hyr purpos wes
Ib. 192. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1079. c1475 Wall. vii 1141. Id. Asl. MS 9/7.
I haue purpos & intencioun … to confes all my synnis
Ib. 59/28.
And a persone … haue that tyme purpos to leve the syn efterwart … that purpos makis … the syn to be les
1533 Bell. Livy I 67/13.
It is now my determit purpois to transport all the Albane pepill to Rome
1535 Stewart 8832, 22190, etc. 1570 Breadalbane Lett. (Reg. H.) 22 July.
Ȝour purpus is to pas to the laland anentis my lordis bissenes
a1578 Pitsc. I 167/22.
Ib. 177/27.
Ib. 281/5.
a1599 Rollock Wks. I 443.
God of his mercie tuik ane purpose to save us
(6) c1475 Wall. x 930.
I thank your lordis … Thar purpos is I sall nocht ydill be
1609 Reg. Privy C. VIII 372.
The Estaitis … had nevir ony purpois … that the said act sould ressave executioun aganis [etc.]
1631 Justiciary Cases I 178.
That the purpoise of Marques Hammiltons leveis … was that eyther [etc.]
(7) c1400 Troy-bk. i 110.
Bot one our wayage furth to pas In gud pece as our purpos was
c1475 Wall. vi 289.
The queyne feld weill how that his purpos was
1513 Doug. iii i 111. 1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. ii 151.
Quhat is thair purpose
(8) 1461 Liber Plusc. 337.
The persons that has beyn agaynis the gude purpos of the common profit of the land
1562 Peebles B. Rec. I 281.
To hald fordward thair set purpos of slauchter [etc.]
1650 Auchterhouse Ann. 106.
Lawfully proclaimed in a purpose of marriage at our church
pl. 1607 Denmylne MSS in Highland P. III 97.
And haueing maid mony purpoises for effectuating thairof whilkis misgaif him, in end he lichted vpon the lymmaris

c. To tak purpose, also sic, uther etc. purpose, to come to a resolution, resolve, determine (const. infin., noun clause, or absol.). d. To leve, brek, change etc., purpose, to abandon one's resolution, give up one's intention.Cf. 7 c.c. (1) 1375 Barb. xviii 230 (C).
He tuk purpos for to ryde … in-till Scotland
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1602. c1420 Wynt. ii 620.
Sum off thame tuk purpos sone Out off [that] land all qwyt to pas
c1475 Wall. iv 104. 1531 Bell. Boece I 206.
Donald … seing the king of small power, tuke purpos to jeoperd him to the chance of fortoun
1535 Stewart 47828.
He tuke purpois for to devoid Scotland Of Inglismen and thair auctoritie
1558-66 Knox I 230. a1578 Pitsc. I 31/7.
Ib. 40/27.
Ib. 80/2.
Ib. 398/4.
1587 Waus Corr. 391.
I haiff tane purpoes as to put your lo. to cherge
a1599 Rollock Wks. I 353.
Then will I tak purpose and will resolve in my hart to give him the life that [etc.]
Ib. 369. 1616 Anal. Scot. I 302.
His majestie heir has tane purpois and is fullie resoluit … to honnour this kingdome with his presence
a1634 Read Buch. 202.(2) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2183.
Than in-to hy Thir two kynges tuke purpos thar That thai wald in thar cuntreis fair [etc.]
(3) 1375 Barb. iii 287.
Quha tais purpos sekyrly And folowis it syne ententily [etc.] … he sall eschew it all
1535 Stewart 2470.
Tha tuke purpois and passit hame awa
a1578 Pitsc. I 157/14.
Harie seand thair was nothing bot fechtin tuik purpois and fled
(4) c1390 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 21.
And tharfor swylk purposse as ye tak thar of it hys [sic] and that ye lat hym hastyly wit
c1475 Wall. viii 201.
We ar our ner, sic purpos for to tak
1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 26.
Tweching ony pourpoys is tane ther amangis the lordis
Ib. 32.
Ther wes uther pourpoys tane and that wes he suld pas [etc.]
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. i 281.
Consilia in melius referet: sall tak ane better purpose
a1578 Pitsc. II 315/10.
He tuik ane vthir purpois and … poysonit him sellff
d. 1375 Barb. i 143.
And fra he wyst quhat charge thai had, He buskyt hym … And left purpos that he had tane
Ib. xi 645.
I will nocht for him brek purpos
a1400 Leg. S. xxvii 1386.
Bot he mycht nocht … Ger hym leif purpos na etling
c1420 Wynt. iv 342.
Bot quhen [etc.] … , He changid purpos and manere And turnyd bak and tuk the flycht
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 252.
The persewaris persawing [etc.] … left purpois and continewit still at the said seige

e. To the purpose, ? suitably to a desired aim, fittingly. c1450-2 Howlat 572 (A).
The lyoun … Crovnit with gold pure To the purpos

f. For the (this) purpose, for the function or task that a person is intended to carry out, also, once, a thing is intended to be used for.(1) 1558-66 Knox I 39.
Thei cherise and feis knaiffis for that purpoise
1644 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 13.
For singling out their men for this purpoise
c1650 Spalding II 18.
Ane commissioner chosin out of the number of the reulling elderis … maist abill and qualefeit for the purpoiss
(2) 1616 Crim. Trials III 383.
Being bodin with suordis [etc.] … provydit be thame for the purpois

2. With reference to written or spoken discourse.The allocation of particular examples between a, b and c below is frequently problematic.

a. The plan or design one has in mind for a literary work in course of composition. a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 169.
At Petir firste I wald begyne, And sa furtht to myn purpos win
c1420 Wynt. i Prol. 10.
Thai that set hale thare delyte Gest … for to wryte … Fluryside fayrly thaire purpose Wytht queynt and curyous circumstance
Ib. ii 144.
To tell yhowe thaire-off the story Walde do as nowe bot occupy Tyme, and walde forthir noucht Purpos that sulde tyll ende be browcht
Ib. iii Prol. 24.
The dayis sulde be set for terme A certane purpos for tyll afferme
Ib. 33.
Swa furth drywand my purpos Be syndry storyis syne to clos
Ib. v Prol. 33.
Swa now my purpos and my wille … Standys halyly for to schawe … All the caus materyalle [etc.]
Ib. iv Prol. 45. 1456 Hay I 63/6.
That I have grete dule to think on his [Caesar's] dede, war nocht that it behovit be tocum till oure purpos undertane
Ib. 71/8. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1250.
Bot I sall do my besye cure To tak the best (as I suppose) That moste pertenis my purpose
a1568 Pedder C. 1.
It is my purpois to discryve [etc.]
1585 James VI Ess. 62.
Thairfore quhen that fallis out in ȝour purpose, ȝe sall [etc.]

b. The subject under discussion, the matter in hand; the main drift of an argument, the gist of what one has to say.Freq. to (till) (the or one's) purpos(e. c1450-2 Howlat 39 (A).
Tharfor in haist will I hens To the purpos. ff that purpos … I herd ane petuos appele [etc.]
1456 Hay I 154/17.
Bot as till our purpos, of gudis wonnyn in the weris, sum haldis [etc.]
Ib. 238/9.
To the quhilk I ansuere, as othir tymes I have said touchand mark suppos it was till othir purpos, that [etc.]
Ib. 251/26.
And, first, be a persuasioun of argument, to cum better to my purpos, I say that [etc.]
Ib. 151/23, II 80/31. a1500 Henr. Fab. (O.U.P.) 590.
To our purpose this cok weill may we call Nyse proud men
c1475 Wall. xi 1216. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1297. 1531 Vaus (1531) 4.
Nownis to o[u]r purpois ar substantitiuis or adiectiuis
1535 Stewart 157. c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 825.
Sa to purpois quhair of I spak lang eir
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 65. c1552 Id. Mon. 5429.
That langith weill tyll our purpose, How sonne and mone ar boith denude Off lycht
Ib. 1594, etc. 1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 102.
For in the understanding of this consistis the heale purpose and markis poynt quhilk we schute at
Id. Breif Tract. (ed.) 113/21.
Diuers testimonyis of scripturis beand left quhilkis ar conforme to our purpos
1562-3 Winȝet I 25/5.
I … thocht that this mater of sedition … had bene ane verray conuenient theme to that purpose
Ib. 106/9.
Quhilkis all to our purpose St. Augustine concluidis in thir wordis
1585 Lett. Jas. VI to Eliz. 15.
For not only wayre the wordis thairof most louing, but also the purpois discouered such kinde cairfulnes in you ouer me
1585 James VI Ess. 63.
That ȝe waill ȝour wordis according to the purpose; as, … gif ȝour purpose be of landwart effairis, to vse corruptit and vplandis wordis
Id. Basil. Doron 69/12.
Heir nou speiking of opressouris & of iustice the purpose leadis me to speake of heelande & bordoure opressions
1599 Rollock Wks. I Ep. 295.
I will not detein ȝou … with langer letter fra the purpois
1622-6 Bisset I 63/10.
Now returnand to my purpose anentis Makbaith quhair I left
1680 Dunlop P. III 8.
I will pase this part of it til meiting and wil com now to the purpose

c. A proposition to be argued, a topic for debate; an assertion, thesis, argument, theme, subject. 1549 Compl. 6/35.
Of quhat purpos or mater that var maist necessair … to be dilatit
Ib. 17/10.
Ande alse ther is diuerse purposis & propositions that occurris in the Lating tong that can nocht be translatit deuly in oure Scottis langage
Ib. 17/14.
Quhou beit that he fynd sum purposis translatit in Scottis that accords nocht vitht the Lateen regester, as ve hef exempil of this propositione homo est animal, for [etc.]
Ib. 13/24. 1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 102.
Afore that we cite the Scripturis to confirme and appreve our purpose
Id. Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 153/9.
I wald be glaid to ressone sum purposis quhilkis ar in contrauersie
Ib. 171/35.
I can say na ferther to this purpose pertenand to the mess presentlie
Ib. 149/3. Id. Oratioun in Knox VI 162. 1562-3 Winȝet II 11/23.
That M. Quintine neidis na wthir apologie … to waist paper and ink for this porpose
Ib. 82/14.
That thow be nocht temerouslie sclanderit nothir in this porpose nor in wtheris, be euery wane manis trittil trattilis
Ib. I 37/4, II 4/27. 1558-66 Knox II 373.
But thairof sche never moved word, but began diverse other purposses
a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. xxix 121.
I luif … taciturnitie And in few wourdis wald my purpois tell
Id. Ib. xxx 64.
Now filthie speche is thocht purpois maist meit
Ib. 68. 1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii 30.
Thir twa … Of sindrie purposis did crak
1581 Sempill Sat. P. xliii 89.
Sum auld exemples heir I man induce, To bring my purpose to more speciall
1586 Rait & Cameron King James's Secret 91.
The rest off thir porpossis I leif to the berair, bot this point is only knawin to my selff
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 18/23.
Bringing in that purpose of my mother only for an example of [etc.]
Ib. 20/30.
Putting in the one halfe of the purpose, and leauing out the other
Ib. 173/5.
But to returne to the purpoise of garmentis thay aucht to be used according to [etc.]
Ib. 180/5.
Not taunting in theologie nor alleadging scripture in drinking purposis as ouer many dois
Ib. 19/32, 50/3. c1606 Laing MSS I 107.
So I leave this pourpos
c1610 Melville Mem. 123.
The quen … had instructed me somtymes to leau matters of grauite and cast in some purposes of mirrines
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1068.
Like purpose, like pruif

d. (To be) to the purpose, to the point, relevant(ly. 1456 Hay I 119/4.
And that is callit hardynes … quhilk is to the purpos
1560 Rolland Seven S. 398.
His counsall was gude and conuenient, And was said to the purpois by and by
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1203.
Nathing to the purpose

e. ? A relevant instance; a case in point. — a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 134/9.
The sammyne doctrine is … manifestlye set furth … of the quhilk I vald mak the readaris to knaw ane notable purposse

f. To turn or apply (an argument or proposition) to or for a certain purpose, to convert or apply it to a certain conclusion, to cause it to favour a certain case. 1490 Irland Mir. I 117/9.
And quhen verite and dame equite … hard the … insuperable persuasioune of dame mercy, and hou sche turnit all thar argumentis and defence agane thame to hire purpos
1513 Doug. i Prol. 399, 1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 167 (see Apply v. 4).

3. Discussion, discourse, conversation. 1558-66 Knox I 137.
He called for Johne Knox … with whome he began to enter in purpose, ‘that he weryed of the world:’ for he perceaved that men begane to weary of God. … The said Johne Knox wondering that he desyred to keape any purpoise befoir sermoun … said [etc.] … and so took the bill conteanyng the purpose foirsaid, and left him
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. iv 283.
Insinuare se reginae: enter in purpose with the queene
Id. Detect. (1727) 131.
That quhile denner-tyme I held purpois to na body, nor ȝit durst ony present thamselfis unto me
a1585 Maitl. Q. xxxix 101.
I tak my leif Fering with langer purpose ȝow to greif
1589 Riddell Tracts 117.
Being familiarlie fallin in purpose and tak with his cuesing [etc.]
1597 James VI Dæmonol. (S.T.S.) 1.
What thinke yee of these strange newes which now onelie furnishes purpose to al men at their meeting, I meane of these witches?

4. attrib. in purpose-dance, ? 3 above. a1651 Calderwood II 211.
At a purpose dance whereat men and weomen talke secreitlie the queene choosed Chattelat

II. In phrases with prepositions. 5. In (into) purpos. a. (1) With the intention, in order, also (2), (3) to be, also (be) possest, or to have in purpose to be minded, to intend, to do something.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxxii 367.
Redy scho wes to ga … & in-to purpose to fulfil It that scho wes entysit til
c1400 Troy-bk. i 105.
We come neuir in purpos her Ȝour kingis land to … stere
1526 Douglas Corr. 110.
[They] departit witheout licence and enterit na plegis in pourpos to stop redres, quhilk, God willing, it sall nocht ly in ther power
1570 Leslie 211.
The ennemeis having merched … in purpois to cum apoun him at onvarnist
(2) c1420 Wynt. iv 706.
He gert aray his gret batayle, In purpos thaim for tyll assayle
1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 32.
The governour … wes in porpois to haif cum our the watter
1547–8 Ib. 221.
My Lord Gray com to Berweik … in pwrpos to haiff mait George off Dowglas
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 198.
Quha wes in purpois to pas in Ingland
1570 Sempill Sat. P. xii 14.
Possest in purpois lyfe for lyfe to cose
(3) c1420 Wynt. ii 910.
And quhare I left, now to begyn I have in purpos

b. (As if with ellipsis of a verb of motion.) In purpose to, bound for (a place); in purpose fra, ? coming from, ? specially directed from. c1420 Wynt. vii 2313.
Bot efftyre that, In till Ingland a gret legat In purpos fra the court off Rome Off cownsale and off trette come
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 350.
The said Johne Forrester and wardane … past of Dalkeith in purpois to Londoun

6. Of purpos: Of intention, deliberately, designedly; with that, or a, special end in view; also of set purpose.(1) c1420 Wynt. v 5195.
And oure the wattyr, off purpos, Off Forth he passyd till Culros
Ib. vii 3257. 1533 Boece 240b.
Incertane gif he did of purpois … or gif he was sa distractit [etc.]
1629 M. Works Acc. II 250.
10 cast of grit fluiring naill boir maid of purpois
1643 Sc. N. & Q. 2 Ser. II 3.
Ane tabill set befoir the pulpit of purpoiss
(2) 1561 St. A. Kirk S. 86.
And for the sam caws of set purpos the parson had Jedwod staiffis in the qweyr
1562 Peebles B. Rec. I 281.
And for verificatioun … that it wes of set purpos
1569 St. A. Kirk S. 323.
That he baid nocht fra the communioun of set pwrpos nor hypocriticallie
1570 Wemyss Chart. 201.
Jhone Wemys … come to Erlishall of set purpois, being lyand in wait in the den of Kynkaipill
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Melletvm.
And nocht of set purpose, or præcogitata malitia

b. Const. infin. compl. = 5 a. Also, of finall purpose = finally intending.(1) 1569 Reg. Privy C. II 38.
Quhilk Andro … drew ane quhinȝear of purpois to invaid the said Maister Thomas
1574 Ib. 417.
Done of set purpois to caus his gudis slay uther in maner foirsaid
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 186.
Dilatit of the casting of … hir awin barne in ane coilheuch of purpoise to haif drownit hir
c1598 Bk. Carlaverock I 304. 1621 Acts IV 624/1.
Servandis … cast thame lowse of purpois and intentioun to mak thair gayne [etc.]
1695 J. M. Beale Fife Schools 220.
Having had severall meetings of purpose to consult wither [etc.]
(2) 1531 Bell. Boece (M) I 40.
Les than the Pichtis war of purpos to rander falsett … for faith [etc.]
1536 Wemyss Corr. 4.
We ar of pourpas to [etc.]
1550–1 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 154.
Any man beand of purpose to by merchandice
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 160/28. 1629 Justiciary Cases I 110.
[His] sones … war of purpois to pas to the laird [etc.]
(3) 1558-66 Knox II 373.
The said Johne Knox … so departed of finall purpose to have returned to Edinburgh

c. Be, for, on (also a, apone) or with purpos, on set purpos, id.(1) c1420 Wynt. vii 1781.
Be [W. For] purpos, as he schawyt hym set, Bathe kyn, and kyndnes he foryhet
(2) 1635 Balfour Her. Tracts 114.
They … neir the bridge crossed the watter (warffes and boates being appoynted a purpois)
(3) 1562 Peebles B. Rec. I 280, 281.
That thai com on set purpos, greit hatrent and malice … and thair, apone set purpose, hamesukking and foirthocht-fellony … slew [etc.]
1562-3 Winȝet II 12/14.
Quha ar knawin on set porpose wristearis of the veritie
a1578 Pitsc. I 41/2.
The chancelar on sett purpois raid fourtht to meit him
(4) c1420 Wynt. ii 1449.
And made amang thame be consalle On set purpos for to qwyt, Wytht gret revengeans, that dyspyte
1576 Orkney Oppress. 44.
Quhairfoir thai war on purpois to have tane act that [etc.]
c1610 Jok Uplandis Newis fol. 3a.
Openlie proclamed a purpose to make them odious to the comon people
1657 Balfour Ann. III 435.
He … went to the Ely, a purpois to embarke
1661 Maxwell Mem. II 305.
And knoing that Sir James Hamilton, … was come … a poirpos to pourshew for your fayn
1674 Red Bk. Grandtully II 219.
To add a full ounce of gold more … a purpose to make them the stronger
(5) 1490 Irland Mir. I 49/23.
Throu … contricioune with purpos to mak confessioune & satisfaccioune
1533 Bell. Livy I 111/7.
Sone eftir all togiddir thai past to Turnus hous, with purpois to haue gevin na credit to thir ymaginaciouns afore rehersit, bot gif [etc.]

7. To (till) purpose. a. To cum to purpose. Of a person: To achieve one's objectives, to succeed. Of an undertaking: To be carried out successfully, to succeed.(1) 1375 Barb. iii 263.
Tharfor men that werrayand [ar] Suld … ay thynk to cum to purpos
Ib. 272.
Auld storys off men … that fortoun contraryit fast And come to purpos at the last
1456 Hay I 13/29.
Quhen he sawe that he come nocht to purpos in that maner [etc.]
Ib. II 152/25.
Quhen othir wayis men may nocht cum to purpos gudely
Ib. I 84/10.(2) 1456 Hay I 88/4.
A grete thing wele cummyn to purpos, suppos it was agayne the commandement of the prince, ȝit for the grete utilitee of the dede as for anys it may be excusit

b. To bring to purpos: to bring (an undertaking or aim) to effect, to succeed in; reflex. to bring (oneself) to one's goal, to achieve success. To bring (something) to gud purpos, to achieve a successful outcome for.(1) c1420 Ratis R. 1057.
Thoucht gret riches … Be lyk for to mak thé latinge To bring to purpos thin etlynge
Ib. 596, 1757. c1420 Wynt. ii 1538.
For perylows that were … And ille to purpos to be broucht
a1500 Sir Eger 2544.
I thought I had a little thing To purpose if I might it bring
(2) c1420 Ratis R. 1060.
Manly men … May vyne honore, riches & price That may thaim weill to purpos bringe And gar enschew of thi lufing
(3) c1475 Wall. x 116.
Quhen Scottismen tuk on hand With fewar men than now ar hydder socht, This realm agayn to full gud purpos brocht

c. To tak to purpos, to resolve, determine. = sense 1 (5) and 1 c.(1) 1375 Barb. xvi 475.
Thai … to purpos has tane To wend hamwart & hamwart ar gan
1513 Doug. xiii i 44.
Ȝit thocht thame levir, … to purpos tuke, To … obey [etc.]
1535 Stewart 53427.(2) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 58.
The Troyiens to purpos kan ta That it shold not thar erdyt be

d. To pas or go to purpos, to take action to achieve one's end. 1560 Rolland Seven S. Prol. 183.
Than in Goddis name to purpois lat vs go
Ib. 535.
He … thame requyrit to purpois for to pas, Ane lady get that was of tender age

e. To (also into) gud(e purpos, with good effect; effectively. a1500 Henr. Fab. (O.U.P.) 14.
Oute of the subtell dyte of poetry, To gude purpois quha culd it weill apply
Ib. 45 (Makc.).
And to [Bass. in to] gud purpos disput, & argow
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. cv 35.
Or mak sum myrrie toy to gude purpose That may the herar … reiose

8. Out of purpos, ? ‘wide of the mark’, so as to miss one's objective, mistaken. 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 58.
I pray you geif I be out of purpose thynk not that I suld be maryit

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"Purpos n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



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