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. " who steals my purse steals trash." (Shak)

2. Hence, a treasury; finances; as, the public purse.

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

4. A specific sum of money; as: In Turkey, the sum of 500 piasters.

In Persia, the sum of 50 tomans. Light purse, or Empty purse, poverty or want of resources. Long purse, or Heavy purse, wealth; riches. Purse crab See Pocket gopher, under Pocket. Sword and purse, the military power and financial resources of a nation.

Origin: OE. Purs, pors, OF. Burse, borse, bourse, F. Bourse, LL. Bursa, fr. Gr. Hide, skin, leather. Cf. Bourse, Bursch, Bursar, Buskin.

(01 Mar 1998)

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