What does purport mean on the LSAT?
The definition of “purport” as noun is a meaning that’s conveyed, implied, or professed.
The definition of “purport” as a verb is to have the appearance of being, intending, or claiming.
Typically on the LSAT, when someone purports, it means that they’re giving the appearance of intending or claiming something that isn’t actually the case.
In simple terms, this word is a synonym for what “appears to be.” It can also mean what appears to be true or what seems likely from what evidence there is.
Here’s an example of part of a passage found on a past LSAT test that mentions the term:
One important example of this trend is Rita Dove, an African American writer highly acclaimed for both her poetry and her fiction. A few years ago, speaking at a conference entitled “Poets Who Write Fiction,” Dove expressed gentle incredulity about the habit of segregating the genres.
She had grown up reading and loving both fiction and poetry, she said, unaware of any purported danger lurking in attempts to mix the two.
In this context, “purported” means that the subject was not aware of the danger that appeared to be at play with mixing fiction and poetry.