Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Tyrian purple

noun Tyr·i·an purple \ˈtir-ē-ən-\

Definition of Tyrian purple

  1. :  a crimson or purple dye that is related to indigo, was obtained by the ancient Greeks and Romans from gastropod mollusks, and is now made synthetically

Origin and Etymology of tyrian purple

Tyre, maritime city of ancient Phoenicia

First Known Use: circa 1586

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Tyrian purple? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).