periwinkle

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Vinca major0.jpg

Etymology 1[edit]

Diminutive of Middle English perwinke, from Old English perfince, perwince (compare Middle High German berwinke), from Latin (vinca) pervinca (compare French pervenche, Italian pervinca), of unknown origin.

Noun[edit]

periwinkle (plural periwinkles)

  1. Any of several evergreen plants of the genus Vinca with blue or white flowers. [from 10th c.]
    • 1653, Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physician Enlarged, Folio Society 2007, p. 220:
      The Periwinkle is a great binder, staying bleeding both at mouth and nose is some of the leaves be chewed.
  2. A color with bluish and purplish hues, somewhat light.
    periwinkle colour:    
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Adjective[edit]

periwinkle (comparative more periwinkle, superlative most periwinkle)

  1. Of pale bluish purple colour.
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Etymology 2[edit]

Middle English, alteration of *pinewinkle (compare English dialectal pennywinkle), from Old English pīnewincle, compound of Latin pīna 'kind of mussel', itself from Ancient Greek pîna, variant of pínna 'mussel') and -wincle (compare Danish dial. vinkel 'snail shell'), from wincel 'corner'. More at winch and wink.

Noun[edit]

periwinkle (plural periwinkles)

  1. A mollusk of genus Littorina.
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