Definition for PURSE

PURSE, n. [purs; Fr. bourse; It. borsa; Sp. and Port. bolsa; D. beurs; G. börse; Dan. börs; L. byrsa, an ox hide; Gr. βυρσα, id. Qu.]

  1. A small bag in which money is contained or carried in the pocket. It was formerly made of leather, and is still made of this material by common people. It is usually of silk net-work.
  2. A sum of money offered as the prize of winning in a horse race.
  3. In Turkey, a sum of money, about £50 sterling, or $222.
  4. The public coffers; the treasury; as, to exhaust a nation's purse, or the public purse. Long purse, or heavy purse, wealth; riches. Light purse, or empty purse, poverty, or want of resources. Sword and purse, the military power and wealth of a nation.

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