1. A color formed by, or resembling that formed by, a combination of the primary colors red and blue.
  2. Cloth dyed a purple color, or a garment of such color; 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.
  3. Hence: Imperial sovereignty; royal rank, dignity, or favor; loosely and colloquially, any exalted station; great wealth.
  4. A cardinalate. See Cardinal.
  5. Any species of large butterflies, usually marked with purple or blue, of the genus Basilarchia (formerly Limenitis) as, the banded purple (B. arthemis). See Illust. under Ursula.
  6. Any shell of the genus Purpura.
  7. See Purpura.
  8. A disease of wheat. Same as Earcockle.


  1. Exhibiting or possessing the color called purple, much esteemed for its richness and beauty; of a deep red, or red and blue color; as, a purple robe.
  2. Imperial; regal; -- so called from the color having been an emblem of imperial authority.
  3. Blood-red; bloody.

v. t.

  1. To make purple; to dye of purple or deep red color; as, hands purpled with blood.