- Enter a word for the dictionary definition.
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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 (Zool.), 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. (Zool.) See Pocket gopher, under Pocket. Sword and purse, the military power and financial resources of a nation. [1913 Webster]