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]


Alexis Saint-Léger Léger, 1887–1975, French diplomat and poet: Nobel Prize in literature 1960. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perse

Historical Examples of perse

  • 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

  • At this the Duke of Perse came to his feet again, an angry gleam in his eyes.

    Truxton King

    George Barr McCutcheon

British Dictionary definitions for perse



  1. a dark greyish-blue colour
  2. (as adjective)perse cloth

Word Origin for perse

C14: from Old French, from Medieval Latin persus, perhaps changed from Latin Persicus Persian



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

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