Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of a group of colors with a hue between that of violet and red.
  • noun Cloth of a color between violet and red, formerly worn as a symbol of royalty or high office.
  • noun Imperial power; high rank.
  • noun The rank or office of a cardinal.
  • noun The rank or office of a bishop.
  • adjective Of the color purple.
  • adjective Royal or imperial; regal.
  • adjective Elaborate and ornate.
  • transitive & intransitive verb To make or become purple.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To tinge or stain with purple; impart a purplish hue to.
  • To become purple; assume a purplish hue.
  • noun A color formed by the mixture of blue and red, including the violet of the spectrum above wave-length 0.417 micron, which is nearly a violet-blue, and extending to but not including crimson.
  • noun Of the various colors called purple at any time, the Tyrian dye (which was properly a crimson) was anciently the most celebrated. This color was produced from an animal juice found in a shell-fish called murex or conchylium by the ancients. See Purpura, 2.
  • noun A cloth robe, dress, or mantle of this hue, formerly the distinguishing dress of emperors, kings, or princes: as, to wear the purple.
  • noun Hence Imperial or regal power; the office or dignity of an emperor or king.
  • noun A cardinalate: so called in allusion to the red or scarlet hat and robes worn officially by cardinals.
  • noun A gastropod yielding a purple fluid for dyeing, as a murex. Holland, tr. of Pliny.
  • noun A shell of the genus Purpura.
  • noun A purple fluid secreted by certain shell-fish, more fully called purple of Mollusca.
  • noun plural See purples.
  • Of a hue or color composed of red and blue blended.
  • Imperial; regal; of the conventional color of imperial robes.
  • See Patersonia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A color formed by, or resembling that formed by, a combination of the primary colors red and blue.
  • noun Cloth dyed a purple color, or a garment of such color; especially, a purple robe, worn as an emblem of rank or authority; specifically, the purple rode or mantle worn by Roman emperors as the emblem of imperial dignity.
  • noun Hence: Imperial sovereignty; royal rank, dignity, or favor; loosely and colloquially, any exalted station; great wealth.
  • noun A cardinalate. See Cardinal.
  • noun (Zoöl.) Any species of large butterflies, usually marked with purple or blue, of the genus Basilarchia (formerly Limenitis) See Illust. under Ursula.
  • noun (Zoöl.) Any shell of the genus Purpura.
  • noun (Med.) See Purpura.
  • noun A disease of wheat. Same as Earcockle.
  • noun (Chem.) Same as Cudbear.
  • noun See Cassius.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a coloring matter derived from certain mollusks, which dyes wool, etc., of a purple or crimson color, and is supposed to be the substance of the famous Tyrian dye. It is obtained from Ianthina, and from several species of Purpura, and Murex.
  • noun to be of princely birth; to be highborn.
  • transitive verb To make purple; to dye of purple or deep red color.
  • adjective Exhibiting or possessing the color called purple, much esteemed for its richness and beauty; of a deep red, or red and blue color.
  • adjective Imperial; regal; -- so called from the color having been an emblem of imperial authority.
  • adjective Blood-red; bloody.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) the European purple gallinule. See under Gallinule.
  • adjective (Min.) See Bornite.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) the crow blackbird. See under Crow.
  • adjective See under Martin.
  • adjective See under Sandpiper.
  • adjective See Ianthina.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A colour/color that is a dark blend of red and blue; dark magenta.
  • noun Imperial power, because the colour purple was worn by emperors and kings.
  • noun Any of various species of mollusks from which Tyrian purple dye was obtained, especially the common dog whelk.
  • noun The purple haze cultivar of cannabis in the kush family, either pure or mixed with others, or by extension any variety of smoked marijuana.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English purpul, from purpure, purple garment, from Latin purpura, shellfish yielding purple dye, purple cloth, purple, from Greek porphurā.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English purpel, from Old English purple, purpure ("purple"), from Latin purpura ("purple dye, shellfish"), from Ancient Greek πορφύρα (porphura, "purple fish"), of Semitic origin.

Examples

  • [49]: The purple die is called in I Maccab.iv. 23, _purple of the sea, _ or _sea purple_; it being the blood or juice of a turbinated shell-fish, which the Jews call [Hebrew] _Chalson_; this they speak of as a shell-fish.

    Female Scripture Biographies, Volume II

  • For when Alexander ordered the Greeks to furnish him with purple robes to wear at the sacrifices on his triumphal return from war against the barbarians, and his subjects contributed so much per head, Theocritus said, "Before I doubted, but now I am sure, that this is the _purple death_ Homer speaks of." [

    Plutarch's Morals

  • The word purple is derived from the Greek porphura, an octopus which yielded purple pigments from which purple dyes were originally manufactured.

    Zolar’s Magick Of Color

  • The word purple is derived from the Greek porphura, an octopus which yielded purple pigments from which purple dyes were originally manufactured.

    Zolar’s Magick Of Color

  • The word purple is derived from the Greek porphura, an octopus which yielded purple pigments from which purple dyes were originally manufactured.

    Zolar’s Magick Of Color

  • The word purple is derived from the Greek porphura, an octopus which yielded purple pigments from which purple dyes were originally manufactured.

    Zolar’s Magick Of Color

  • The colour purple is the colour of mourning in Rwanda and yesterday, 7th April, was the 15th Anniversary of the Genocide.

    Global Voices in English » Rwanda: Fifteen years after the genocide

  • Another aural Field, what I call purple space, should be mentioned.

    Wrong Planet Asperger / Autism Forums

  • The "purple" is the badge of empire; even as in mockery it was put on our Lord. decked -- literally, "gilded." stones -- Greek, "stone." filthiness -- A, B, and Andreas read, "the filthy (impure) things."

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • To her, a woman was a woman, whether garbed in purple or the rags of the gutter;

    Jack London Play:The Scorn of Women

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