of a dark or brownish purple.


a dark or brownish purple.

Origin of puce

1780–90; < French: literally, flea < Latin pūlic-, stem of pūlex
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for puce

Historical Examples of puce

British Dictionary definitions for puce



  1. a colour varying from deep red to dark purplish-brown
  2. (as adjective)a puce carpet

Word Origin for puce

C18: shortened from French couleur puce flea colour, from Latin pūlex flea
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 puce

"brownish-purple," 1787, from French puce "flea-color; flea," from Latin pucilem (nominative pulex) "flea," from PIE *plou- "flea" (cf. Sanskrit plusih, Greek psylla, Old Church Slavonic blucha, Lithuanian blusa, Armenian lu "flea"). That it could be generally recognized as a color seems a testimony to our ancestors' intimacy with vermin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper