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[purs] /pɜrs/
of a very deep shade of blue or purple.
Origin of perse
1325-75; Middle English pers < Medieval Latin persus, perhaps variant of perseus kind of blue, itself alteration of Latin Persicus Persian

St.-John Perse

[sin-juh n purs] /ˈsɪn dʒən ˈpɜrs/
(Alexis Saint-Léger Léger) 1887–1975, French diplomat and poet: Nobel Prize in literature 1960. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for perse
Historical Examples
  • Here dwelt a beautiful enchantress called Circe, daughter of the sun-god and the sea-nymph perse.

  • It is less than two hundred feet from the gate to perse's doorsteps.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • The Duke of perse struck at him as he passed, ignoring the frantic cry of warning that he uttered.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • The Duke of perse was lying back in the seat, his face like that of a dead man.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • The Duke of perse, from a bed of pain and anguish, has counselled us to take steps in the direction I am about to speak of.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • "Yes, my dear," said the Duke of perse, a smile of relief on his face.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • At this the Duke of perse came to his feet again, an angry gleam in his eyes.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • A great portion is almost literally translated from the French piece, perse et Dmtrius.

  • Even the Duke of perse, hobbling on crutches, had a kindly greeting for him.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • Moreover, nearly half a pint of the fluid had splashed upon the Duke of perse's trousers—and they were grey, at that.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
British Dictionary definitions for perse


  1. a dark greyish-blue colour
  2. (as adjective): perse cloth
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Medieval Latin persus, perhaps changed from Latin Persicus Persian


/pɜːs; French pɛrs/
Saint-John (ˈsɪndʒən), real name Alexis Saint-Léger. 1887–1975, French poet, born in Guadeloupe. His works include Anabase (1922) and Chronique (1960). Nobel prize for literature 1960
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
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Word Origin and History for perse

late 14c., "blue, bluish-gray," later "purplish-black," from Old French pers "(dark) blue, livid; wan, pale," from Late Latin persus, perhaps a back-formation from one of the early European forms of Persia.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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