• (British) IPA: /ˈpɜː(ɹ).pəl/
  • (GA) enPR: pûrpəl, IPA: /ˈpɝpəl/

purple (plural purples)

  1. A colour/color that is a dark blend of red and blue; dark magenta.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book IV ↗”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗, lines 596–597:
      Arraying with reflected Purple and Gold / The Clouds that on his Weſtern Throne attend.
  2. Cloth, or a garment, dyed a purple colour; especially, a purple robe, worn as an emblem of rank or authority; specifically, the purple robe or mantle worn by Ancient Roman emperors as the emblem of imperial dignity.
    to put on the imperial purple
    • 1610, The Second Tome of the Holie Bible, […] (Douay–Rheims Bible), Doway: Lavrence Kellam, […], OCLC 1006139495 ↗, Canticle of Canticles 7:5, page 341 ↗:
      Thy head as Carmelus: and the heares of thy head as a kings purple tyed to cundite pipes.
  3. (by extension) Imperial power, because the colour purple was worn by emperors and kings.
    • He was born in the purple.
    • 1946, Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy, I.29:
      The immediate successors of Augustus indulged in appalling cruelties towards senators and towards possible competitors for the purple.
  4. Any of various species of mollusks from which Tyrian purple dye was obtained, especially the common dog whelk.
  5. The purple haze cultivar of cannabis in the kush family, either pure or mixed with others, or by extension any variety of smoked marijuana.
    • 2005, Tipi Paul, Wanna Smoke?: The Adventures of a Storyteller, page 14 ↗
      "Sure, some purple Owlsley."
    • 2010, Mark Arax, West of the West, page 221 ↗
      Purple smoke is no joke. Especially when it is real purple. The smell, taste, and high is easily one of the best in the world. One bowl of some purple Kush, and I'm done for a couple of hours.
    • 2011, Danielle Santiago, Allure of the Game, page 148 ↗
      She preferred to smoke some good purple, but getting high wasn't an option.
  6. (medicine) Purpura.
  7. Earcockle, a disease of wheat.
  8. Any of the species of large butterflies, usually marked with purple or blue, of the genus Basilarchia (formerly Limenitis).
    the banded purple
  9. A cardinalate.
Translations Translations
  • Russian: пу́рпур
  • Russian: багря́нка

purple (comparative purpler, superlative purplest)

  1. Having a colour/color that is a dark blend of red and blue.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter IV, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803 ↗, page 40 ↗:
      So this was my future home, I thought! […] Backed by towering hills, the but faintly discernible purple line of the French boundary off to the southwest, a sky of palest Gobelin flecked with fat, fleecy little clouds, it in truth looked a dear little city; the city of one's dreams.
  2. (US politics) Not predominantly red or blue, but having a mixture of Democrat and Republican support, as in purple state, purple city.
    • 2010, Hal K. Rothman, The Making of Modern Nevada, University of Nevada Press, ISBN 978-0-87417-826-5, page 162 ↗:
      In the end, Nevada remained the quintessential purple state. On the maps that television used to illustrate political trends, Republican states were red and Democratic blue. Nevada blended the colors. It had a bright blue core in the heart of Las Vegas, surrounded by a purple suburban belt. Most of the rest of the state was bright red, especially in the rural counties.
  3. (in Netherlands and Belgium) Mixed between social democrats and liberals.
  4. Imperial; regal.
    • Hide in the dust thy purple pride.
  5. Blood-red; bloody.
    • c. 1591–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene vi], page 171 ↗, column 2:
      O may ſuch purple teares be alway ſhed
    • 1697, “The Sixth Book of the Æneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. […], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, […], OCLC 403869432 ↗, lines 133–134, page 366 ↗:
      Wars, horrid Wars I view; a field of Blood; / And Tyber rolling with a Purple Flood.
  6. (of language) Extravagantly ornate, like purple prose.
  7. (motor racing, of a sector, lap, etc.) Completed in the fastest time so far in a given session.
  • (having purple as its colour) nonpurple
Translations Verb

purple (purples, present participle purpling; past and past participle purpled)

  1. (intransitive) To turn purple in colour.
    • 1999, David Edelstein, In Nomine: Corporeal Player's Guide, Steve Jackson Games, ISBN 1-55634-389-2, page 8:
      The gang leader purpled and raised his gun.
  2. (transitive) To dye purple.
  3. (transitive) To clothe in purple.

Proper noun
  1. (rare) Surname

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