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purple

[pur-puh l] /ˈpɜr pəl/
noun
1.
any color having components of both red and blue, such as lavender, especially one deep in tone.
2.
cloth or clothing of this hue, especially as formerly worn distinctively by persons of imperial, royal, or other high rank.
3.
the rank or office of a cardinal.
4.
the office of a bishop.
5.
imperial, regal, or princely rank or position.
6.
deep red; crimson.
7.
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.
adjective, purpler, purplest.
8.
of the color purple.
9.
imperial, regal, or princely.
10.
brilliant or showy.
11.
full of exaggerated literary devices and effects; marked by excessively ornate rhetoric:
a purple passage in a novel.
12.
profane or shocking, as language.
verb (used with or without object), purpled, purpling.
13.
to make or become purple.
Idioms
14.
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
1000
before 1000; Middle English purpel (noun and adj.), Old English purple (adj.), variant of purpure < Latin purpura kind of shellfish yielding purple dye, the dye, cloth so dyed < Greek porphýra; cf. purpure, porphyry
Related forms
purpleness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for purpled
Historical Examples
  • And directly the sun had disappeared the heavens above it purpled and became a lake of blood, whilst the Campagna turned to grey.

  • He purpled with laughing and said: ‘Gad, she’ll always have her way!

    The Gorgeous Girl Nalbro Bartley
  • The Seraph spoke; when thro the purpled air The northern armies spread the flames of war.

    The Columbiad Joel Barlow
  • At the moment when they reached the river, the sun rose majestically on the horizon in a mist of purpled clouds.

  • The purpled fury his face expressed sickened to a mottled gray.

    The Argus Pheasant John Charles Beecham
  • Rich muslin shades over the chandeliers (Rosalie's work) purpled all the atmosphere of the parlors.

    The Incendiary W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
  • It was colour that changed and grew in splendour with ash of rose and purpled cloud border and glowing orange streamer.

    The Roof Tree Charles Neville Buck
  • Kate's face was white, the mouth was a taut line, the eyes gleamed feverishly amid the purpled rings of wakeful nights.

    To Him That Hath Leroy Scott
  • Lilacs also, flushed with rose, purpled the walls of old houses.

    The Portion of Labor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • Fenayrou stared at him wide-eyed, and from the shadow of a folded mat The Parrot thrust his purpled face.

British Dictionary definitions for purpled

purple

/ˈpɜːpəl/
noun
1.
any of various colours with a hue lying between red and blue and often highly saturated; a nonspectral colour
2.
a dye or pigment producing such a colour
3.
cloth of this colour, often used to symbolize royalty or nobility
4.
the purple, high rank; nobility
5.
  1. the official robe of a cardinal
  2. the rank, office, or authority of a cardinal as signified by this
6.
the purple, bishops collectively
adjective
7.
of the colour purple
8.
(of writing) excessively elaborate or full of imagery: purple prose
9.
noble or royal
Derived Forms
purpleness, noun
purplish, adjective
purply, adjective
Word Origin
Old English, from Latin purpura purple dye, from Greek porphura the purple fish (Murex)
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 purpled

purple

n., adj.

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."

v.

c.1400, from purple (n.). Related: Purpled; purpling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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