Dictionary > Purple


To make purple; to dye of purple or deep red colour; as, hands purpled with blood. When morn Purples the east. (milton) Reclining soft in blissful bowers, Purpled sweet with springing flowers. (Fenton)
Origin: OE. Purpre, pourpre, OF. Purpre, porpre, pourpre, F. Pourpre, L. Purpura purple fish, purple dye, fr. Gr. The purple fish, a shell from the purple dye was obtained, purple dye; cf. Dark (said of the sea), purple, to grow dark (said of the sea), to be troubled; perh. Akin to L. Furere to rage, E. Fury: cf. AS. Purpure. Cf. Porphyry, Purpure.
1. A colour formed by, or resembling that formed by, a combination of the primary colours red and blue. Arraying with reflected purple and gold The clouds that on his western throne attend. (milton)
The ancient words which are translated purple are supposed to have been used for the colour we call crimson. In the gradations of colour as defined in art, purple is a mixture of red and blue. When red predominates it is called violet, and when blue predominates, hyacinth.
2. Cloth dyed a purple colour, or a garment of such colour; especially, a purple robe, worn as an emblem of rank or authority; specifically, the purple rode or mantle worn by roman emperors as the emblem of imperial dignity; as, to put on the imperial purple. Thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and purple, and scarlet. (Ex. Xxvi. 1)
3. Hence: Imperial sovereignty; royal rank, dignity, or favor; loosely and colloquially, any exalted station; great wealth. He was born in the purple.
4. A cardinalate. See cardinal.
5. (Science: zoology) Any species of large butterflies, usually marked with purple or blue, of the genus Basilarchia (formerly Limenitis) as, the banded purple (B. Arthemis).
6. (Science: zoology) Any shell of the genus purpura.
7. (Science: medicine) See purpura.
8. A disease of wheat. Same as earcockle.
Purple is sometimes used in composition, especially. With participles forming words of obvious signification; as, purple-coloured, purple-hued, purple-stained, purple-tinged, purple-tinted, and the like. French purple.
(Science: chemistry) A colouring matter derived from certain mollusks, which dyes wool, etc, of a purple or crimson colour, and is supposed to be the substance of the famous Tyrian dye. It is obtained from ianthina, and from several species of purpura, and murex. To be born in the purple, to be of princely birth; to be highborn.
1. Exhibiting or possessing the colour called purple, much esteemed for its richness and beauty; of a deep red, or red and blue colour; as, a purple robe.
2. Imperial; regal; so called from the colour having been an emblem of imperial authority. Hide in the dust thy purple pride. (Shelley)
3. Bloodred; bloody. May such purple tears be alway shed. (Shak) ”I view a field of blood, And Tiber rolling with a purple blood.
(Science: zoology)” (Dryden) Purple bird, the crow blackbird. See Crow. Purple martin. See Martin. Purple sandpiper. See Sandpiper. Purple shell. See ianthina.