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

purple passage

noun

Definition of purple passage

  1. 1 :  a passage conspicuous for brilliance or effectiveness in a work that is dull, commonplace, or uninspired

  2. 2 chiefly British :  a piece of obtrusively ornate writing —called also purple patch



Origin of purple passage

translation of Latin pannus purpureus purple patch; from the traditional splendor of purple cloth as contrasted with plainer materials


First Known Use: 1895


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez kittly-benders duvet spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ