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[purs] /pɜrs/
of a very deep shade of blue or purple.
Origin of perse
1325-75; Middle English pers < Medieval Latin persus, perhaps variant of perseus kind of blue, itself alteration of Latin Persicus Persian

St.-John Perse

[sin-juh n purs] /ˈsɪn dʒən ˈpɜrs/
(Alexis Saint-Léger Léger) 1887–1975, French diplomat and poet: Nobel Prize in literature 1960. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for perse
Historical Examples
  • Circe was the daughter of Sol and perse, and was celebrated for her skill in magic.

    Human Animals Frank Hamel
  • Circe was the daughter of Helios (the Sun) by the ocean-nymph perse.

    Milton's Comus John Milton
  • It is less than two hundred feet from the gate to perse's doorsteps.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • The Duke of perse was lying back in the seat, his face like that of a dead man.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • The Duke of perse realised this when he compelled his daughter to accept him as her husband.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • At this the Duke of perse came to his feet again, an angry gleam in his eyes.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • Even the Duke of perse, hobbling on crutches, had a kindly greeting for him.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • "Yes, my dear," said the Duke of perse, a smile of relief on his face.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • M. de Blocqueville, a perfect French gentleman, had come to la belle perse in search of adventures.

  • Mémoires de la Délégation en perse; Recherches archéologiques (from 1899).

    Man, Past and Present Agustus Henry Keane
British Dictionary definitions for perse


  1. a dark greyish-blue colour
  2. (as adjective): perse cloth
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Medieval Latin persus, perhaps changed from Latin Persicus Persian


/pɜːs; French pɛrs/
Saint-John (ˈsɪndʒən), real name Alexis Saint-Léger. 1887–1975, French poet, born in Guadeloupe. His works include Anabase (1922) and Chronique (1960). Nobel prize for literature 1960
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 perse

late 14c., "blue, bluish-gray," later "purplish-black," from Old French pers "(dark) blue, livid; wan, pale," from Late Latin persus, perhaps a back-formation from one of the early European forms of Persia.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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