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

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The first known use of purple passage was in 1882

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Cite this Entry

“Purple passage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purple%20passage. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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