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Purposely means both "on purpose, by design; intentionally, deliberately".

Why use a semi-colon here rather than a comma?

  • It separates two pairs of related concepts. A comma wouldn't display that structure. – Lawrence Mar 16 '16 at 16:16
  • It's dictionaryese, not standard punctuation. – Hot Licks Mar 16 '16 at 17:02
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it asks about a non-standard usage which is doubtless defined in the uncited dictionary. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 16 '16 at 17:58
  • Please do not post a comment in your question. – user140086 Mar 17 '16 at 7:16
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Though I can't be sure until I know your context, I think this is a shorthand notation for multiple dictionary definitions, i.e.

The dictionary definition of purposely is as follows:

  1. On purpose; by design

  2. Intentionally; deliberately

Instead of numbering the definitions in an example like the above, whoever wrote this sentence decided to simply separate them in shorthand:

Purposely means "on purpose, by design; intentionally, deliberately"

The both in your example is incorrect and unneccessary. Both would need to be followed by and in order to be clear and technically correct.

Purposely means both "On purpose; by design" and "intentionally; deliberately."

In addition, as illustrated above, the commas would have to be replaced by either semicolons or hyphens in order to clarify that the 'and' separates the two definitions. I have also used separate quotations on the two definitions for further clarity.

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