1 a : an outlying or adjacent district
2 a : a frequently visited place : haunt
"The boy, desperately nervous, continued to descend the zig-zag paths that would take him into the very purlieus of his father's house." — Ford Madox Ford, Last Post, 1928
"This is the biggest casino in the world…. It's open day and night, and entry is free, so there's no reason (assuming you're over 21) not to take a stroll through its gilded purlieus." — Ed Peters, The Telegraph (London), 13 Sept. 2016
Did You Know?
In medieval England, if you wished to assert the extent of your land, you might hold a ceremony called a perambulation, in which you would walk around and record your property's boundaries in the presence of witnesses. If your land bordered a royal forest, there could be some confusion about where your land started and the royal forest ended. By performing a perambulation, you could gain some degree of ownership over disputed forest tracts, although your use of them would be restricted by forest laws. Such regained forest property was called a purlewe (or as it was later spelled, purlieu), which derives from the Anglo-French word for "perambulation."
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