periwinkle

1
[ per-i-wing-kuh l ]
/ ˈpɛr ɪˌwɪŋ kəl /

noun

any of various marine gastropods or sea snails, especially Littorina littorea, used for food in Europe.
the shell of any of these animals.

Origin of periwinkle

1
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”

Definition for periwinkle (2 of 2)

periwinkle

2
[ per-i-wing-kuh l ]
/ ˈpɛr ɪˌwɪŋ kəl /

noun

Also called myrtle. a trailing plant, Vinca minor, of the dogbane family, having glossy, evergreen foliage and usually blue-violet flowers.
any of several similar plants of the genus Vinca or Catharanthus.
a blue-violet color.

Origin of periwinkle

2
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 formsper·i·win·kled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for periwinkle

British Dictionary definitions for periwinkle (1 of 2)

periwinkle

1
/ (ˈpɛrɪˌwɪŋkəl) /

noun

any of various edible marine gastropods of the genus Littorina, esp L. littorea, having a spirally coiled shellOften shortened to: winkle

Word Origin for periwinkle

C16: of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for periwinkle (2 of 2)

periwinkle

2
/ (ˈpɛrɪˌwɪŋkəl) /

noun

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
  1. a light purplish-blue colour
  2. (as adjective)a periwinkle coat

Word Origin for periwinkle

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