purple: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (pûr'pul), [key]
— n., adj., v., -pler, -plest, -pled, -pling.
  1. any color having components of both red and blue, such as lavender, esp. one deep in tone.
  2. cloth or clothing of this hue, esp. as formerly worn distinctively by persons of imperial, royal, or other high rank.
  3. the rank or office of a cardinal.
  4. the office of a bishop.
  5. imperial, regal, or princely rank or position.
  6. deep red; crimson.
  7. any of several nymphalid butterflies, as Basilarchia astyanaxhaving blackish wings spotted with red, or Basilarchia arthemishaving brown wings banded with white.
  8. of royal or exalted birth: Those born to the purple are destined to live in the public eye.
  1. of the color purple.
  2. imperial, regal, or princely.
  3. brilliant or showy.
  4. full of exaggerated literary devices and effects; marked by excessively ornate rhetoric: a purple passage in a novel.
  5. profane or shocking, as language.
—v.t., v.i.
  1. to make or become purple.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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