Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

purple

play
adjective pur·ple \ˈpər-pəl\

Simple Definition of purple

  • : of the color purple

  • : using many fancy words

Full Definition of purple

pur·pler play \-p(ə-)lər\ pur·plest play \-p(ə-)ləst\

  1. 1 :  regal, imperial

  2. 2 :  of the color purple

  3. 3 a :  highly rhetorical :  ornate b :  marked by profanity

Examples of purple

  1. The book contains a few purple passages.

  2. Her writing was full of purple prose.



Origin of purple

Middle English purpel, alteration of purper, from Old English purpuran of purple, genitive of purpure purple color, from Latin purpura, from Greek porphyra


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

purple

noun pur·ple

Simple Definition of purple

  • : a color that is between red and blue

Full Definition of purple

  1. 1 a (1) :  cloth dyed purple (2) :  a garment of such color; especially :  a purple robe worn as an emblem of rank or authority b (1) :  tyrian purple (2) :  any of various colors that fall about midway between red and blue in hue c (1) :  a mollusk (as of the genus Purpura) yielding a purple dye and especially the Tyrian purple of ancient times (2) :  a pigment or dye that colors purple

  2. 2 a :  imperial or regal rank or power b :  high rank or station

15th Century

First Known Use of purple

15th century


3

purple

verb pur·ple

Definition of purple

pur·pledpur·pling play \-p(ə-)liŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to make purple

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to become purple



15th Century

First Known Use of purple

15th century




Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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?

duvet pince-nez spindrift kittly-benders
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