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periwinkle1

[per-i-wing-kuh l] /ˈpɛr ɪˌwɪŋ kəl/
noun
1.
any of various marine gastropods or sea snails, especially Littorina littorea, used for food in Europe.
2.
the shell of any of these animals.
Origin of periwinkle1
1520-1530
1520-30; perhaps reflecting (through assimilation to periwinkle2) Old English pīnewincle, equivalent to pīne (from Latin pīna from Greek pínē,pîna, a kind of mollusk) + -wincel “shellfish” (occurring only in compounds), cognate with dialectal Danish vinkel “snail shell”

periwinkle2

[per-i-wing-kuh l] /ˈpɛr ɪˌwɪŋ kəl/
noun
1.
Also called myrtle. a trailing plant, Vinca minor, of the dogbane family, having glossy, evergreen foliage and usually blue-violet flowers.
2.
any of several similar plants of the genus Vinca or Catharanthus.
3.
a blue-violet color.
Origin
before 1000; earlier pervinkle, perwinkle, alteration (see -le) of Middle English perwinke, pervinke, from Anglo-French pervenke (Old French pervenche,) from Late Latin pervinca, Latin vi(n)capervi(n)ca; compare Old English peruince, Middle High German ber(e)winke from Late Latin pervinca
Related forms
periwinkled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for periwinkle
Historical Examples
  • periwinkle and Pearl were also there, taking their first skating lesson.

    Pearl and Periwinkle Anna Graetz
  • It was periwinkle's voice however that called him back again.

    Pearl and Periwinkle Anna Graetz
  • She could easily sympathize with periwinkle in his aversion for her.

    Pearl and Periwinkle Anna Graetz
  • In the heart of periwinkle a new fire was kindled, a new shrine built.

    Pearl and Periwinkle Anna Graetz
  • Dark as were his thoughts his blue eyes were as soft as the periwinkle.

    Peter and Wendy James Matthew Barrie
  • "You see, I brought her home," said periwinkle to her grandmother, in confidence.

    Duffels Edward Eggleston
  • periwinkle is one of the oldest flowers of the English garden.

    A Garden with House Attached Sarah Warner Brooks
  • This we gather from our knowledge of the periwinkle, known in polite circles as the 'Wink.

  • Amongst the loose stones at the base of the taula the periwinkle was in bloom.

    The Fortunate Isles

    Mary Stuart Boyd
  • "No one but the King of the gulls can change you, my periwinkle," said the merman, kindly.

    Lulu's Library, Volume II Louisa M. Alcott
British Dictionary definitions for periwinkle

periwinkle1

/ˈpɛrɪˌwɪŋkəl/
noun
1.
any of various edible marine gastropods of the genus Littorina, esp L. littorea, having a spirally coiled shell Often shortened to winkle
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin

periwinkle2

/ˈpɛrɪˌwɪŋkəl/
noun
1.
Also called (US) creeping myrtle, trailing myrtle. any of several Eurasian apocynaceous evergreen plants of the genus Vinca, such as V. minor (lesser periwinkle) and V. major (greater periwinkle), having trailing stems and blue flowers
2.
  1. a light purplish-blue colour
  2. (as adjective): a periwinkle coat
Word Origin
C14 pervenke, from Old English perwince, from Late Latin pervinca
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for periwinkle
n.1

evergreen plant, c.1500, diminutive of parvink (12c.), from Old English perwince, from Late Latin pervinca "periwinkle" (4c.), from Latin, perhaps from pervincire "to entwine, bind," from per- "thoroughly" (see per) + vincire "to bind, fetter" (see wind (v.1)).

n.2

kind of sea snail, 1520s, apparently an alteration of Old English pinewincle (probably by influence of Middle English parvink; see periwinkle (n.1)); from Old English pine-, which probably is from Latin pina "mussel," from Greek pine. The second element is wincel "corner; spiral shell," from Proto-Germanic *winkil-, from PIE root *weng- "to bend, curve" (see wink (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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