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puce

[pyoos] /pyus/
adjective
1.
of a dark or brownish purple.
noun
2.
a dark or brownish purple.
Origin
1780-1790
1780-90; < French: literally, flea < Latin pūlic-, stem of pūlex
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pucest

puce

/pjuːs/
noun
1.
  1. a colour varying from deep red to dark purplish-brown
  2. (as adjective): a puce carpet
Word Origin
C18: shortened from French couleur puce flea colour, from Latin pūlex flea
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for pucest

puce

n.

"brownish-purple," 1787, from French puce "flea-color; flea," from Latin pucilem (nominative pulex) "flea," from PIE *plou- "flea" (cf. Sanskrit plusih, Greek psylla, Old Church Slavonic blucha, Lithuanian blusa, Armenian lu "flea"). That it could be generally recognized as a color seems a testimony to our ancestors' intimacy with vermin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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