American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An outlying or neighboring area.
- n. Outskirts; the environs.
- n. A place that one frequents.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Land added to a royal forest by unlawful encroachment, but afterward disafforested, and restored to the former owners, its bounds and extent being settled by perambulation.
- n. plural The borders or environs of any place; the outskirts; outlying places: as, the purlieus of Paris.
- n. historical The ground on the edges of a forest, especially when partly subject to the same forest laws concerning game hunting etc.
- n. The outskirts of any place; an adjacent district; the environs or neighborhood.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Originally, the ground near a royal forest, which, having been unlawfully added to the forest, was afterwards severed from it, and disafforested so as to remit to the former owners their rights.
- n. Hence, the outer portion of any place; an adjacent district; environs; neighborhood.
- n. an outer adjacent area of any place
- From Anglo-Norman puralee, puralé et al. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English purlewe, piece of land on the edge of a forest, probably alteration (influenced by Old French lieu, place) of porale, purale, royal perambulation, from Old French porale, from poraler, to traverse : por-, forth (from Latin prō-; see pro-1) + aler, aller, to go; see alley1. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“It is remarkable that the term purlieu is never once mentioned in this long roll of parchment.”
“A purlieu is a familiar or outlying place; a purview is a range or scope.”
“Stuck with his family in a purlieu of Rome densely populated by other displaced Jews, he immerses himself in his memories, which include seeing his father murdered by Cossacks and, just as hauntingly, informing on his cousin for Zionist activity.”
“Even in the darkest purlieu of Morocco's underworld," Eberhardt writes, "such men can reach the magic horizon where they are free to build their dream-palaces of delight.”
“Carmine stood listening to the sound of his footsteps retreating down the hall, and prayed that his most beloved friend would chance upon a greener feminine field in his own purlieu.”
“As a purlieu hunter, I have hitherto beaten about the circuit of the forest of this microcosm, and followed only those outward adventitious causes.”
“Antony asked, relieved to discuss something inarguably in his purlieu.”
“Having sent in his card, he waited a long while in that lofty purlieu.”
“Sir Everard Powell was there in his bath-chair at twelve, with a doctor on one side of him and a friend on the other, in some purlieu of the House, and did his duty like a fine old Briton as he was.”
“We were often crossing it on one errand or other, but now we were especially going to see the gipsy quarter of Seville, which disputes with that of Granada the infamy of the loathsomest purlieu imaginable.”
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