purpose

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for all intensive purposes

An erroneous misconstruction of the phrase "for all intents and purposes," meaning "in every practical or functional sense." I know the two countries have very distinct differences, but for all intensive purposes, America and Canada are nearly identical.
See also: all, purpose

serve (one's) purpose

To fit or satisfy someone's requirements; to be useful for or fit to achieve someone's aim, goal, or purpose. Well, it isn't a very pretty car, but it should serve our purpose just fine. Child: "But mom, I want a smartphone!" Mother: "Nonsense, the cell phone you already have serves your purpose just fine."
See also: purpose, serve

serve the purpose

To fit or satisfy the necessary requirements; to be useful for or fit to achieve some aim, goal, or purpose. Well, it isn't a very pretty car, but it should serve the purposes of our mission. Child: "But mom, I want a smartphone!" Mother: "Nonsense, the cell phone you have serves the purpose just fine."
See also: purpose, serve

cross purpose

A goal or purpose that conflicts with someone else's. Often used in the phrase "at cross purposes." It sounds like you two are at cross purposes right now, so take a few minutes and reach an agreement about what you hope to achieve.
See also: cross, purpose

to the purpose

To the point; that which is pertinent. We don't have much time left, so please, get to the purpose.
See also: purpose

answer (one's) purpose

To be useful for a particular task. If that's the only paintbrush we have, I think it will answer my purpose.
See also: answer, purpose

at cross purposes

In conflict with or in opposition to. You will never find success if you continue to work at cross purposes with your teammates.
See also: cross, purpose

accidentally on purpose

Seemingly unintentionally but actually deliberately. Paula is pretty shy, so I think she forgot to attend the party accidentally on purpose.
See also: accidentally, on, purpose

serve a purpose

To fit or satisfy the necessary requirements; to be useful for or fit to achieve some aim, goal, or purpose. Well, it isn't very flashy, but this old truck ought to serve a purpose somewhere on the ranch. I hope that my lessons served a purpose in my students' lives.
See also: purpose, serve

the devil can quote scripture for his own purpose

Be aware that scripture can be manipulated to support nefarious acts. That new guy at church seems unsavory to me, especially because the devil can quote scripture for his own purpose.

for all intents and purposes

In every practical or functional sense; almost completely. The phrase is often misstated as "for all intensive purposes." The game is finished, for all intents and purposes. We just need to iron out a few issues before it's released. I am a doctor for all intents and purposes; I just happen to specialize in treating the feet.
See also: all, and, intent, purpose

to all intents and purposes

For the most part. To all intents and purposes, the gym is ready for tonight's dance. There's only a few small things we still need to do.
See also: all, and, intent, purpose

on purpose

With deliberate intention; not accidentally. I bet you he left his report card here on purpose so we would compliment him on his grades. I don't understand—why would you run into the bumper of another car on purpose?
See also: on, purpose

accidentally-on-purpose

Inf. deliberate, but meant to look like an accident. Then, I accidentally-on-purpose spilled water on him.

answer someone's purpose

 and serve someone's purpose
to fit or suit someone's aim or goal. This piece of wood will answer my purpose quite nicely. The new car serves our purpose perfectly.
See also: answer, purpose

at cross-purposes

with opposing viewpoints; with goals that interfere with each other. We are arguing at cross-purposes. We aren't even discussing the same thing. Bill and Tom are working at cross-purposes. They'll never get the job done right.

devil can quote Scripture for his own purpose

 and devil can cite Scripture for his own purpose
Prov. Evil people sometimes try to win the confidence of good people by quoting persuasive passages of Scripture.; Just because someone can quote Scripture to support his or her argument does not mean that the argument is virtuous. (Scripture usually refers to the Bible, but it can refer to other religious writings.) Sadie: Dad, you really ought to give me permission to go out with Nathan. He's such a polite boy, and he can even quote the Bible. Father: The devil can quote Scripture for his own purpose.

for all intents and purposes

Cliché seeming as if; looking as if. Tom stood there, looking, for all intents and purposes, as if he could strangle Sally, but, being the gentleman that he is, he just glowered. Mary: Is the car washed now? John: For all intents and purposes, yes, but I didn't dry it yet.
See also: all, and, intent, purpose

for all practical purposes

as might be reasonably expected; essentially. For all practical purposes, this is simply a matter of right and wrong. This should be considered final, for all practical purposes.
See also: all, practical, purpose

for one's (own) sake

for one's good or benefit; in honor of someone. I have to earn a living for my family's sake. I did it for my mother's sake.
See also: sake

for someone (or something's) sake

 and for the sake of someone or something
for the purpose or benefit of someone or something; to satisfy the demands of someone or something. I made a meatless dinner for John's sake; he's a vegetarian. The teacher repeated the assignment for the sake of the slower students.
See also: sake

on purpose

intentionally; in a way that is meant or intended; not an accident. The bully stepped on my foot on purpose. Jealously, Jimmy destroyed Billy's sand castle on purpose.
See also: on, purpose

Serve a (useful) purpose

to be useful in accomplishing some purpose. This large book should serve a useful purpose. We can use it for a doorstop.
See also: purpose, serve

at cross purposes

With aims or goals that conflict or interfere with one another, as in I'm afraid the two departments are working at cross purposes. This idiom, first recorded in 1688, may have begun as a 17th-century parlor game called "cross-purposes," in which a series of subjects (or questions) were divided from their explanations (or answers) and distributed around the room. Players then created absurdities by combining a subject taken from one person with an explanation taken from another.
See also: cross, purpose

on purpose

1. Deliberately, intentionally, as in He left the photo out of the story on purpose. Shakespeare's use of this idiom was among the earliest; it appears in The Comedy of Errors (4:3): "On purpose shut the doors against his way."
2. accidentally on purpose. Seemingly accidentally but actually deliberately, as in She stepped on his foot accidentally on purpose. This generally jocular phrase was first recorded in 1862.
See also: on, purpose

serve a purpose

Also, serve one's or the purpose . Be useful, meet the needs or requirements, satisfy, as in I don't know why they've added all this information but it probably serves a purpose, or It often serves his purpose to be vague, or We don't have a spading fork but this shovel should serve the purpose. This idiom was first recorded in 1513.
See also: purpose, serve

to all intents and purposes

Also, for all intents and purposes; for all practical purposes. In every practical sense, virtually. For example, For all intents and purposes the case is closed, or For all practical purposes the Vice-President is the chief executive while the President is in the hospital . The first phrase, dating from the 1500s, originated in English law, where it was to all intents, constructions, and purposes. A shorter synonym is in effect, def. 1.
See also: all, and, intent, purpose

to good purpose

To effective use, as in A donation to the homeless shelter will be put to good purpose. This idiom was first recorded in 1553. Also see to little or no purpose.
See also: good, purpose

to little purpose

Also, to no purpose. Of little or no use, in vain, as in Hiring a new lawyer will be to little purpose. The related phrases are sometimes combined in to little or no purpose and used as a general indicator of futility. To little purpose was first recorded in 1560. For a synonym, see to no avail; also see to good purpose.
See also: little, purpose

to all intents and purposes

COMMON You say to all intents and purposes to suggest that a situation is not exactly as you describe it but the effect is the same as if it were. To all intents and purposes he was my father. Note: People sometimes just say to all intents with the same meaning. For the first time in many years he was, to all intents, a free man.
See also: all, and, intent, purpose

at cross purposes

If two people are at cross purposes, they think they are talking about or trying to do the same thing as each other, but they are actually talking about or trying to do different things. They had been talking at cross purposes earlier, he realized. The Hungarian hadn't been offering him a share of the deal at all. Now that Council members are working together instead of at cross purposes, the chances of success look considerably brighter.
See also: cross, purpose

at cross purposes

misunderstanding or having different aims from one another.
See also: cross, purpose

to all intents and purposes

in all important respects.
1992 London Review of Books For if in 1976 pianists really were about to lose the skill of polyphonic piano-playing, then to all intents and purposes the skill of playing the piano was at an end.
See also: all, and, intent, purpose

accidentally on purpose

apparently by accident but in fact intentionally. humorous
See also: accidentally, on, purpose

acciˌdentally on ˈpurpose

(informal, ironic) intending to do something, but wanting to appear to have done it by accident: ‘We’d just finished our meal when John realized he’d accidentally left his chequebook at home.’ ‘Accidentally on purpose, you mean!’
See also: accidentally, on, purpose

be/talk at cross ˈpurposes

(of two people or groups) misunderstand what the other is referring to or trying to do: Mary and I spoke about Anne for a minute or two before I realized we were talking at cross purposes: I meant Anne Smith and Mary meant Anne Harris.
See also: cross, purpose, talk

to all intents and ˈpurposes

(British English) (American English for all intents and ˈpurposes) in almost every important way: The fighting has stopped, so to all intents and purposes, the war is over.
See also: all, and, intent, purpose

for (all) ˈpractical purposes

in actual fact; in reality: Your daughter does so little work at school, Mrs Brown, that for all practical purposes she might as well not be here at all.
See also: practical, purpose

on ˈpurpose

deliberately: He took the worst jobs he could find on purpose, and then wrote a book about his experiences.Don’t shout at me like that. I didn’t break it on purpose.
See also: on, purpose

to little/good/some/no ˈpurpose

(formal) with little, good, etc. result or effect: Another meeting was held, to little purpose.She had used the profits to good purpose and upgraded their software.
See also: good, little, purpose

serve a, his, its, etc. ˈpurpose

,

serve the ˈpurpose (of doing something)

(British English also serve his, its, etc. ˈturn) be useful for a particular purpose or period of time; be good or useful enough for somebody: It’s not a very good radio, but it serves its purpose.He used his friends and then abandoned them when they had served their turn.
See also: purpose, serve

accidentally-on-purpose

mod. deliberate, but meant to look like an accident. Then I accidentally-on-purpose spilled water on him.

at cross-purposes

Pursuing conflicting or contrary goals, usually unintentionally: We're working at cross-purposes.

on purpose

Intentionally; deliberately.
See also: on, purpose

to good purpose

With good results.
See also: good, purpose
References in classic literature ?
To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied Constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.
The act from Annapolis recommends the "appointment of commissioners to take into consideration the situation of the United States; to devise SUCH FURTHER PROVISIONS as shall appear to them necessary to render the Constitution of the federal government ADEQUATE TO THE EXIGENCIES OF THE UNION; and to report such an act for that purpose, to the United States in Congress assembled, as when agreed to by them, and afterwards confirmed by the legislature of every State, will effectually provide for the same.
When one takes a broad survey of the country, he will find that the most useful and influential people in it are those who take the deepest interest in institutions that exist for the purpose of making the world better.
By discarding a claim to knowledge of the ultimate purpose, we shall clearly perceive that just as one cannot imagine a blossom or seed for any single plant better suited to it than those it produces, so it is impossible to imagine any two people more completely adapted down to the smallest detail for the purpose they had to fulfill, than Napoleon and Alexander with all their antecedents.
The illustration of the swimbladder in fishes is a good one, because it shows us clearly the highly important fact that an organ originally constructed for one purpose, namely flotation, may be converted into one for a wholly different purpose, namely respiration.
For this purpose I have shown that no acquisitions of guilt can compensate the loss of that solid inward comfort of mind, which is the sure companion of innocence and virtue; nor can in the least balance the evil of that horror and anxiety which, in their room, guilt introduces into our bosoms.
It is natural to regard desire as in its essence an attitude towards something which is imagined, not actual; this something is called the END or OBJECT of the desire, and is said to be the PURPOSE of any action resulting from the desire.
No words, no tears, no prayers, from his gory victim, seemed to move his iron heart from its bloody purpose.
She was sure that in my every purpose I should gain a firmer and a higher tendency, through the grief I had undergone.
That will help us to understand how the love of accumulating money grows an absorbing passion in men whose imaginations, even in the very beginning of their hoard, showed them no purpose beyond it.
said Rebecca ``surely only to him, who, for a most selfish and brutal cause, dragged me hither, and who now, for some unknown purpose of his own, strives to exaggerate the wretched fate to which he exposed me.
God alone can cure that," said Sancho; "for I have more proverbs in me than a book, and when I speak they come so thick together into my mouth that they fall to fighting among themselves to get out; that's why my tongue lets fly the first that come, though they may not be pat to the purpose.
Now any speech or action that manifests moral purpose of any kind will be expressive of character: the character will be good if the purpose is good.
In this state of dark isolation a new resolution came to her, and grew and grew until it became a fixed definite purpose.
Mucianus undid Vitellius, by a fame that he scattered, that Vitellius had in purpose to remove the legions of Syria into Germany, and the legions of Germany into Syria; whereupon the legions of Syria were infinitely inflamed.