purlieu

[pur-loo, purl-yoo]
See more synonyms for purlieu on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. purlieus, environs or neighborhood.
  2. a place where one may range at large; confines or bounds.
  3. a person's haunt or resort.
  4. an outlying district or region, as of a town or city.
  5. a piece of land on the edge of a forest, originally land that, after having been included in a royal forest, was restored to private ownership, though still subject, in some respects, to the operation of the forest laws.

Origin of purlieu

1475–85; alteration (simulating French lieu place) of earlier parlewe, parley, paraley purlieu of a forest < Anglo-French purale(e) a going through, equivalent to pur (< Latin prō for, pro1, confused with per through) + aller (see alley1)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for purlieu

Historical Examples of purlieu

  • Hamlyn's Purlieu had never known such gaieties as during the fifteen years of Mrs. Allerton's married life.

    The Explorer

    W. Somerset Maugham

  • A great fear seized her that it would be impossible to keep Hamlyn's Purlieu, and she was stricken with panic.

    The Explorer

    W. Somerset Maugham

  • Fred Allerton could see the great old elms that surrounded Hamlyn's Purlieu; and his eyes were fixed steadily upon them.

    The Explorer

    W. Somerset Maugham

  • Each forest was surrounded by its "purlieu," or belt of pasturage, for the deer to graze in.

  • The girl was brought up among exiles and political criminals in the purlieu of Montmartre.


British Dictionary definitions for purlieu

purlieu

noun
  1. English history land on the edge of a forest that was once included within the bounds of the royal forest but was later separated although still subject to some of the forest laws, esp regarding hunting
  2. (usually plural) a neighbouring area; outskirts
  3. (often plural) a place one frequents; haunt
  4. rare a district or suburb, esp one that is poor or squalid

Word Origin for purlieu

C15 purlewe, from Anglo-French puralé a going through (influenced also by Old French lieu place), from Old French puraler to traverse, from pur through + aler to go
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