a pale bluish purple.
a purple dye obtained from aniline, discovered in 1856: the first of the coal-tar dyes.


of the color of mauve: a mauve dress.

Origin of mauve

1855–60; < French: literally, mallow < Latin malva mallow Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mauve

Contemporary Examples of mauve

Historical Examples of mauve

  • They were there almost over our heads, sprinkling us with their blue, pink, and mauve drops.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Juve showed this sheet of mauve letter paper to his listeners.

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre

  • She quickly caught sight of a mauve sheet of paper on the blotting-pad.

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre

  • She set Richard down on the mauve soil and collapsed beside him.

  • Gradually the blue color faded to mauve and then to a brilliant crimson.

    Giants on the Earth

    Sterner St. Paul Meek

British Dictionary definitions for mauve



  1. any of various pale to moderate pinkish-purple or bluish-purple colours
  2. (as adjective)a mauve flower
Also called: Perkin's mauve, mauveine (ˈməʊviːn, -vɪn) a reddish-purple aniline dye

Word Origin for mauve

C19: from French, from Latin malva mallow
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

Word Origin and History for mauve

purple dye, 1859, from French mauve, from Old French mauve "mallow" (13c.), from Latin malva "mallow;" the dye so called from the color of the mallow plant. Related: Mauvish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper