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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