purple passage

noun

Definition of purple passage

1 : a passage conspicuous for brilliance or effectiveness in a work that is dull, commonplace, or uninspired
2 chiefly British : a piece of obtrusively ornate writing

called also purple patch

First Known Use of purple passage

1882, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for purple passage

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about purple passage

Time Traveler for purple passage

Time Traveler

The first known use of purple passage was in 1882

See more words from the same year

Statistics for purple passage

Cite this Entry

“Purple passage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purple%20passage. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on purple passage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for purple passage

Comments on purple passage

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

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!