purple

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English[edit]

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Various shades of purple

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English purpel, from Old English purple, purpure (purple), from Latin purpura (purple dye, shellfish), from Ancient Greek πορφύρα (porphura, purple fish), of Semitic origin.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

purple (plural purples)

  1. A colour/color that is a dark blend of red and blue; dark magenta.
    purple colour:    
    • Milton
      Arraying with reflected purple and gold / The clouds that on his western throne attend.
  2. Cloth, or a garment, dyed a purple colour; especially, a purple robe, worn as an emblem of rank or authority; specifically, the purple robe or mantle worn by Ancient Roman emperors as the emblem of imperial dignity.
    to put on the imperial purple
    • Bible, Exodus xxvi. 1
      Thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and purple, and scarlet.
  3. (by extension) Imperial power, because the colour purple was worn by emperors and kings.
    • Gibbon
      He was born in the purple.
    • 1946, Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy, I.29:
      The immediate successors of Augustus indulged in appalling cruelties towards senators and towards possible competitors for the purple.
  4. Any of various species of mollusks from which Tyrian purple dye was obtained, especially the common dog whelk.
  5. The purple haze cultivar of cannabis in the kush family, either pure or mixed with others, or by extension any variety of smoked marijuana.
    • 2005, Tipi Paul, Wanna Smoke?: The Adventures of a Storyteller, page 14
      "Sure, some purple Owlsley."
    • 2010, Mark Arax, West of the West, page 221
      Purple smoke is no joke. Especially when it is real purple. The smell, taste, and high is easily one of the best in the world. One bowl of some purple Kush, and I'm done for a couple of hours.
    • 2011, Danielle Santiago, Allure of the Game, page 148
      She preferred to smoke some good purple, but getting high wasn't an option.
  6. (medicine) purpura
  7. earcockle, a disease of wheat.
  8. Any of the species of large butterflies, usually marked with purple or blue, of the genus Basilarchia (formerly Limenitis).
    the banded purple
  9. A cardinalate.

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

purple (comparative purpler or more purple, superlative purplest or most purple)

  1. Having a colour/color that is a dark blend of red and blue.
  2. (US politics) Not predominantly red or blue, but having a mixture of Democrat and Republican support, as in purple state, purple city.
    • 2010, Hal K. Rothman, The Making of Modern Nevada, University of Nevada Press, ISBN 978-0-87417-826-5, page 162:
      In the end, Nevada remained the quintessential purple state. On the maps that television used to illustrate political trends, Republican states were red and Democratic blue. Nevada blended the colors. It had a bright blue core in the heart of Las Vegas, surrounded by a purple suburban belt. Most of the rest of the state was bright red, especially in the rural counties.
  3. (in Netherlands and Belgium) Mixed between social democrats and liberals.
  4. imperial; regal
    • Shelley
      Hide in the dust thy purple pride.
  5. Blood-red; bloody.
    • Shakespeare
      May such purple tears be alway shed.
    • Dryden
      I view a field of blood, / And Tiber rolling with a purple blood.

Antonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

purple (third-person singular simple present purples, present participle purpling, simple past and past participle purpled)

  1. (intransitive) To turn purple in colour.
    • 1999, David Edelstein, In Nomine: Corporeal Player's Guide, Steve Jackson Games, ISBN 1-55634-389-2, page 8:
      The gang leader purpled and raised his gun.

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]