any color having components of both red and blue, such as lavender, especially one deep in tone.
cloth or clothing of this hue, especially as formerly worn distinctively by persons of imperial, royal, or other high rank.
the rank or office of a cardinal.
the office of a bishop.
imperial, regal, or princely rank or position.
deep red; crimson.
any of several nymphalid butterflies, as Basilarchia astyanax (red-spotted purple) having blackish wings spotted with red, or Basilarchia arthemis (banded purple or white admiral) having brown wings banded with white.
adjective, purpler, purplest.
of the color purple.
imperial, regal, or princely.
brilliant or showy.
full of exaggerated literary devices and effects; marked by excessively ornate rhetoric: a purple passage in a novel.
profane or shocking, as language.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), purpled, purpling.
to make or become purple.
born in/to the purple, of royal or exalted birth: Those born to the purple are destined to live in the public eye.

before 1000; Middle English purpel (noun and adj.), Old English purple (adj.), variant of purpure < Latin purpura kind of shellfish yielding purple dye, the dye, cloth so dyed < Greek porphýra; cf. purpure, porphyry

purpleness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To purple
World English Dictionary
purple (ˈpɜːpəl)
1.  any of various colours with a hue lying between red and blue and often highly saturated; a nonspectral colour
2.  a dye or pigment producing such a colour
3.  cloth of this colour, often used to symbolize royalty or nobility
4.  the purple high rank; nobility
5.  a.  the official robe of a cardinal
 b.  the rank, office, or authority of a cardinal as signified by this
6.  the purple bishops collectively
7.  of the colour purple
8.  (of writing) excessively elaborate or full of imagery: purple prose
9.  noble or royal
[Old English, from Latin purpura purple dye, from Greek porphura the purple fish (Murex)]

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

O.E. purpul, dissimilation (first recorded in Northumbrian, in Lindisfarne gospel) from purpure "purple garment," purpuren "purple," from L. purpura "purple-dyed cloak, purple dye," also "shellfish from which purple was made," from Gk. porphyra (see porphyry), of Semitic
origin, originally the name for the shellfish (murex) from which it was obtained. Tyrian purple, produced around Tyre, was prized as dye for royal garments. As a color name, attested from late 14c. Also the color of mourning or penitence (especially in royalty or clergy). Rhetorical for "splendid, gaudy" (of prose) from 1590s. Purpur continued as a parallel form until 15c., and through 19c. in heraldry. Purple Heart, U.S. decoration for service members wounded in combat, instituted 1932; originally a cloth decoration begun by George Washington in 1782. Hendrix' Purple Haze (1967) is slang for "LSD."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The moves to purple tennis courts or blue ones are not only about marketing
  tour events.
Brats chopped and mixed with pickled purple cabbage and onion.
The yellow and purple hues that should emerge in the spring will match their
  school colours.
Salt deposits along the water's edge appear purple in this twilight view.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature