from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of several small, often edible marine snails, especially of the genus Littorina, having thick, cone-shaped, whorled shells.
- n. The shell of any of the periwinkles.
- n. Any of several shrubby, trailing, evergreen plants of the genus Vinca, especially V. minor, having glossy, dark green, opposite leaves and flowers with a blue, funnel-shaped corolla. Also called myrtle.
- n. Any of several erect herbs of the genus Catharanthus, especially C. roseus, having flowers with a rose-pink or white salverform corolla and a closed throat.
- n. A pale purplish blue.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A color with bluish and purplish hues, somewhat light.
- adj. Of pale bluish purple colour.
- n. A mollusk of genus Littorina.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Any small marine gastropod shell of the genus Littorina. The common European species (Littorina littorea), in Europe extensively used as food, has recently become naturalized abundantly on the American coast. See littorina.
- n. A trailing herb of the genus Vinca.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A plant of the genus Vinca, most often one or other of the familiar garden species, v. major, the larger, and v. minor, the lesser periwinkle.
- n. A kind of seasnail; any member of the family Littorinidæ, and especially of the genus Littorina. See cuts under Littorina and Littorinidæ.
- n. One of several large whelks or conch-shells, as Busycon (Fulgur) carica, Sycotypus canaliculatus, and various species of Purpura, as P. ostrina, P. lapillus, P. floridana: commonly called winkles or wrinkles. They are pests in the oyster-beds.
- n. In Australia, a name given to the gastropod Turbo undulatus.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. commonly cultivated Old World woody herb having large pinkish to red flowers
- n. edible marine gastropod
- n. chiefly trailing poisonous plants with blue flowers
- n. small edible marine snail; steamed in wine or baked
Middle English *periwinkle, probably alteration (influenced by pervinkle, periwinkle (plant)) of Old English pīnewincle : Latin pīna, mussel (from Greek pīnē) + Old English -wincel, snail shell.
Middle English pervinkle, diminutive of pervinke, from Old English pervince, from Latin (vinca) pervinca, from pervincīre, to wind about.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Diminutive of Middle English perwinke, from Old English perfince, perwince (compare Middle High German berwinke), from Latin (vinca) pervinca (compare French pervenche, Italian pervinca), of unknown origin. (Wiktionary)
Middle English, alteration of *pinewinkle (compare English dialectal pennywinkle), from Old English pīnewincle, compound of Latin pīna 'kind of mussel', itself from Ancient Greek pîna, variant of pínna 'mussel') and -wincle (compare Danish dial. vinkel 'snail shell'), from wincel 'corner'. More at winch and wink. (Wiktionary)