follow Dictionary.com

Why is the ninth month called September?

periwinkle1

[per-i-wing-kuh l] /ˈpɛr ɪˌwɪŋ kəl/
noun
1.
any of various marine gastropods or sea snails, especially Littorina littorea, used for food in Europe.
2.
the shell of any of these animals.
Origin
1520-1530
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

periwinkle2

[per-i-wing-kuh l] /ˈpɛr ɪˌwɪŋ kəl/
noun
1.
Also called myrtle. a trailing plant, Vinca minor, of the dogbane family, having glossy, evergreen foliage and usually blue-violet flowers.
2.
any of several similar plants of the genus Vinca or Catharanthus.
Origin
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
Related forms
periwinkled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for periwinkle
  • 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.
  • From burnt sienna to periwinkle, the crayons stood at attention, immaculate and pointy with possibilities.
  • Glee's resident rump-shaker took a fashion risk in a plunging periwinkle gown with a ruffled bottom.
  • Vincristine, which is an important drug for lymphoma and leukemia, comes from periwinkle.
  • Common periwinkle is adapted to a wide range of soils.
  • Decorative patterns include punctations with periwinkle shells and reeds, and pinching with shells and fingernails.
  • The rosy periwinkle plant holds the key to fighting rare blood cancers.
British Dictionary definitions for periwinkle

periwinkle1

/ˈpɛrɪˌwɪŋkəl/
noun
1.
any of various edible marine gastropods of the genus Littorina, esp L. littorea, having a spirally coiled shell Often shortened to winkle
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin

periwinkle2

/ˈpɛrɪˌwɪŋkəl/
noun
1.
Also called (US) creeping myrtle, 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.
  1. a light purplish-blue colour
  2. (as adjective) a periwinkle coat
Word Origin
C14 pervenke, from Old English perwince, from Late Latin pervinca
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for periwinkle
n.

evergreen plant, c.1500, diminutive of parvink (12c.), from Old English perwince, from Late Latin pervinca "periwinkle" (4c.), from Latin, perhaps from pervincire "to entwine, bind," from per- "thoroughly" (see per) + vincire "to bind, fetter" (see wind (v.1)).

kind of sea snail, 1520s, apparently an alteration of Old English pinewincle (probably by influence of Middle English parvink; see periwinkle (n.1)); from Old English pine-, which probably is from Latin pina "mussel," from Greek pine. The second element is wincel "corner; spiral shell," from Proto-Germanic *winkil-, from PIE root *weng- "to bend, curve" (see wink (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for periwinkle

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for periwinkle

19
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with periwinkle