1 [per-i-wing-kuhl]

1520–30; perhaps reflecting (through assimilation to periwinkle2) Old English pīnewincle, equivalent to pīne (< Latin pīna < Greek pîna, variant of pínna kind of mollusk) + wincle, cognate with dialectal Danish vinkel snail shell Unabridged


2 [per-i-wing-kuhl]
Also called myrtle. a trailing plant, Vinca minor, of the dogbane family, having glossy, evergreen foliage and usually blue-violet flowers.
any of several similar plants of the genus Vinca or Catharanthus.

before 1000; earlier pervinkle, perwinkle, alteration (see -le) of Middle English perwinke, pervinke < Anglo-French pervenke (Old French pervenche) < Late Latin pervinca, Latin vi(n)capervi(n)ca; compare Old English peruince, Middle High German ber(e)winke < Late Latin pervinca

periwinkled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
periwinkle1 (ˈpɛrɪˌwɪŋkəl)
Often shortened to: winkle any of various edible marine gastropods of the genus Littorina, esp L. littorea, having a spirally coiled shell
[C16: of unknown origin]

periwinkle2 (ˈpɛrɪˌwɪŋkəl)
1.  creeping myrtle, Also called (US): trailing myrtle any of several Eurasian apocynaceous evergreen plants of the genus Vinca, such as V. minor (lesser periwinkle) and V. major (greater periwinkle), having trailing stems and blue flowers
2.  a.  a light purplish-blue colour
 b.  (as adjective): a periwinkle coat
[C14 pervenke, from Old English perwince, from Late Latin pervinca]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"evergreen plant," 1501, dim. of parvink (12c.), from O.E. perwince, from L.L. pervinca "periwinkle" (4c.), from L., from pervincire "to entwine, bind," from per- "thoroughly" + vincire "to bind, fetter."

"kind of sea snail," 1530, alt. of O.E. pinewincle, probably by infl. of M.E. parvink (see periwinkle (1)), from O.E. pine- (probably from L. pina "mussel," from Gk. pine) + wincel "corner."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The basic color scheme is a soft buttery yellow for the cabinets, with periwinkle blue on the cabinet handles.
We rolled periwinkle blue latex paint on as our background color for the canvas mats at top.
The fir deck is painted spruce gray to complement the periwinkle stucco walls screening the hot tub.
Glee's resident rump-shaker took a fashion risk in a plunging periwinkle gown with a ruffled bottom.
Images for periwinkle
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