Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A reddish dyestuff obtained from the bodies of certain mollusks of the genus Murex and highly prized in ancient times.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A deep purple dyestuff obtained from the bodies of mollusks of the genus Murex
  • n. A deep purple colour, tinted with red, like that of the dye.
  • adj. Of a deep purple colour, tinted with red, like that of the dye.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. a celebrated purple dye prepared in ancient Tyre from several mollusks, especially Ianthina, Murex, and Purpura. See the Note under Purple, n., 1, and Purple of mollusca, under Purple, n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a vivid purplish-red color
  • n. a red-purple to deep purple dye obtained from snails or made synthetically

Etymologies

After Tyre .
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Such is Autumn: prodigal in her magnificence, scattering largesse with a liberal hand, she is yet careless and regardless of finish in the lesser details; she flings cloth of gold over the old chestnut, and Tyrian purple upon the oak; while the neighboring grape-vine hangs a dull and blighted garland of russet upon the forgotten aspen, still green.

    Rural Hours

  • Her breasts had sagged like two empty socks with toes full of pebbles, and swung visibly beneath the thin Tyrian purple shift which was all she wore above the waist.

    The First Man in Rome

  • I loved colour, and the effect of the sun on the wharves with their bales of merchandise lives in lines in my poem 'Paul to Timothy:' 'Tall, Bacchic amphora, and the perfumed bales of Tyrian purple along the quay; the men with arms like anchor cables in their strength.'

    Canadian Cities of Romance

  • Strabo gives an account of it at that period, speaks of the great wealth which it derived from the dyes of the celebrated Tyrian purple which, as is well known were extracted from shell-fish found on the coast, belonging to a species of the genus Murex.

    Smith's Bible Dictionary

  • He was much older than voice or reputation upon the stage or the view across the courtyard suggested, a fiftyish man with a golden-yellow wig upon his head and an elaborately made-up face, wearing a floating robe of Tyrian purple embroidered with clusters of golden stars.

    The First Man in Rome

  • They bore it in shoulder-high on a Tyrian purple cushion in a gem-studded golden dish, a huge licker-fish of the Tiber with the same look on its face as a flogged mastiff.

    The First Man in Rome

  • No sooner had the Senate disposed of Salvidienus than Herod was seen flaunting his Tyrian purple and gold outfit on the streets of Rome.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • He was a foreigner, and a noble one, for he wore an expensive robe of Tyrian purple brocade artfully interwoven with gold thread, and upon a head of snakelike, greasy black curls sat a skullcap made of cloth-of-gold.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • Secured by a solid gold comb, a gauze veil of Tyrian purple covered the back of her head and fell over her spine like a windless flag.

    The First Man in Rome

  • A Tyrian purple shawl was tied about her hips, her hands and feet were almost black with henna, and she tinkled when she walked from a myriad of bells, bracelets, rings, and trinkets, all of solid gold.

    The First Man in Rome

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