- any color having components of both red and blue, such as lavender, especially one deep in tone.
- cloth or clothing of this hue, especially as formerly worn distinctively by persons of imperial, royal, or other high rank.
- the rank or office of a cardinal.
- the office of a bishop.
- imperial, regal, or princely rank or position.
- deep red; crimson.
- any of several nymphalid butterflies, as Basilarchia astyanax (red-spotted purple), having blackish wings spotted with red, or Basilarchia arthemis (banded purple or white admiral), having brown wings banded with white.
- of the color purple.
- imperial, regal, or princely.
- brilliant or showy.
- full of exaggerated literary devices and effects; marked by excessively ornate rhetoric: a purple passage in a novel.
- profane or shocking, as language.
- relating to or noting political or ideological diversity: purple politics; ideologically purple areas of the country.
- to make or become purple.
- born in/to the purple, of royal or exalted birth: Those born to the purple are destined to live in the public eye.
Origin of purple
Examples from the Web for purple
Black and purple bunting went up over the doorway at the 84th Precinct stationhouse where Ramos and Liu had been assigned.'Please Don't Die!': The Frantic Battle to Save Murdered Cops
December 22, 2014
Here and there, sparingly, one of the dolls might be purple or green: “Rainbow Piets,” they call them.Dutch Try to Save Santa’s Slave
Nadette De Visser
December 2, 2014
Worse, when Richman woke up the next morning, her entire ear was purple.‘My Crazy Love’ Reveals the Craziest Lies People Tell for Love
November 18, 2014
So, Mrs. Shattuck printed out a cheer resume on purple paper and, as is her way, bedazzled the paper with rhinestones.From Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader to Mrs. Robinson
November 6, 2014
That room—the cold, the purple light, the demonic transformations: it really haunts you.Scorsese’s Scariest Movies of All Time
October 31, 2014
The robe of fine Milesian texture, was saffron-coloured, with a purple edge.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
"But there should be another one," cried the man in the purple coat.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
To one familiar with savage peoples there could be no doubt that these were close to the purple.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
They dropped from his grasp, and I saw that his fingers were purple and black.A Woman Tenderfoot
Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
Gather the grapes when they are full grown, but before they begin to purple.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
- any of various colours with a hue lying between red and blue and often highly saturated; a nonspectral colour
- a dye or pigment producing such a colour
- cloth of this colour, often used to symbolize royalty or nobility
- the purple high rank; nobility
- the official robe of a cardinal
- the rank, office, or authority of a cardinal as signified by this
- the purple bishops collectively
- of the colour purple
- (of writing) excessively elaborate or full of imagerypurple prose
- noble or royal
Word Origin and History for purple
Old English purpul, dissimilation (first recorded in Northumbrian, in Lindisfarne gospel) of purpure "purple dye, a purple garment," purpuren (adj.) "purple," a borrowing by 9c. from Latin purpura "purple color, purple-dyed cloak, purple dye," also "shellfish from which purple was made," and "splendid attire generally," from Greek porphyra "purple dye, purple" (cf. porphyry), of uncertain origin, perhaps Semitic, originally the name for the shellfish (murex) from which it was obtained. Purpur continued as a parallel form until 15c., and through 19c. in heraldry. As a color name, attested from early 15c. Tyrian purple, produced around Tyre, was prized as dye for royal garments.
Also the color of mourning or penitence (especially in royalty or clergy). Rhetorical for "splendid, gaudy" (of prose) from 1590s. Purple Heart, U.S. decoration for service members wounded in combat, instituted 1932; originally a cloth decoration begun by George Washington in 1782. Hendrix' Purple Haze (1967) is slang for "LSD."
c.1400, from purple (n.). Related: Purpled; purpling.