To make purple; to dye of purple or deep red colour; as, hands purpled with blood. When morn Purples the east. (milton) Reclining soft in blissful bowers, Purpled sweet with springing flowers. (Fenton)
Origin: OE. Purpre, pourpre, OF. Purpre, porpre, pourpre, F. Pourpre, L. Purpura purple fish, purple dye, fr. Gr. The purple fish, a shell from the purple dye was obtained, purple dye; cf. Dark (said of the sea), purple, to grow dark (said of the sea), to be troubled; perh. Akin to L. Furere to rage, E. Fury: cf. AS. Purpure. Cf. Porphyry, Purpure.
The ancient words which are translated purple are supposed to have been used for the colour we call crimson. In the gradations of colour as defined in art, purple is a mixture of red and blue. When red predominates it is called violet, and when blue predominates, hyacinth.
2. Cloth dyed a purple colour, or a garment of such colour; especially, a purple robe, worn as an emblem of rank or authority; specifically, the purple rode or mantle worn by roman emperors as the emblem of imperial dignity; as, to put on the imperial purple. Thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and purple, and scarlet. (Ex. Xxvi. 1)
4. A cardinalate. See cardinal.
7. (Science: medicine) See purpura.
Purple is sometimes used in composition, especially. With participles forming words of obvious signification; as, purple-coloured, purple-hued, purple-stained, purple-tinged, purple-tinted, and the like. French purple.
(Science: chemistry) A colouring matter derived from certain mollusks, which dyes wool, etc, of a purple or crimson colour, and is supposed to be the substance of the famous Tyrian dye. It is obtained from ianthina, and from several species of purpura, and murex. To be born in the purple, to be of princely birth; to be highborn.