[ pur-puh l ]
/ ˈpɜr pəl /


adjective, pur·pler, pur·plest.

verb (used with or without object), pur·pled, pur·pling.

to make or become purple.


    born in/to the purple, of royal or exalted birth: Those born to the purple are destined to live in the public eye.

Origin of purple

before 1000; Middle English purpel (noun and adjective), Old English purple (adjective), variant of purpure < Latin purpura “kind of shellfish yielding purple dye, the dye, cloth so dyed” < Greek porphýra; cf. purpure, porphyry

Related forms

pur·ple·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for purple

British Dictionary definitions for purple


/ (ˈpɜːpəl) /



Derived Forms

purpleness, nounpurplish, adjectivepurply, adjective

Word Origin for purple

Old English, from Latin purpura purple dye, from Greek porphura the purple fish (Murex)
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