Tyrian purple

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n Tyrian purple a vivid purplish-red color
    • n Tyrian purple a red-purple to deep purple dye obtained from snails or made synthetically
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Tyrian purple a celebrated purple dye prepared in ancient Tyre from several mollusks, especially Ianthina, Murex, and Purpura. See the Note under Purple n., 1, and Purple of mollusca, under Purple n.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Tyrian purple a fine purple dye for which the people of ancient Tyre were celebrated
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. porpre (Fr. pourpre)—L. purpura—Gr. porphyra, the purple-fish.

Usage

In literature:

If you mixed live and dead lobsters you'd get Tyrian purple.
"The Story of the Amulet" by E. Nesbit
You now enter the tablinum, across which, at either end, hung rich draperies of Tyrian purple, half withdrawn.
"The Last Days of Pompeii" by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
They had also very long heads of hair hanging down, and were clothed in garments of Tyrian purple.
"The Antiquities of the Jews" by Flavius Josephus
Her barge was gilded, and was wafted on its way by swelling sails of Tyrian purple.
"Famous Affinities of History, Vol 1-4, Complete" by Lyndon Orr
Their short kilted skirts were of rich Tyrian purple embroidered with gold.
"The Young Carthaginian" by G.A. Henty
His copious black hair was evidently surreptitious, and his whiskers of the Tyrian purple.
"The History of Pendennis" by William Makepeace Thackeray
The head was of Persian silk, and dyed with Tyrian purple.
"Imogen" by William Godwin
Curse on that man who finds the emerald green, And Tyrian purples for our flattered girls!
"The Elegies of Tibullus" by Tibullus
Woollen goods, dyed with Tyrian purple, were imported from Miletus, in Caria.
"Robert Kerr's General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 18" by William Stevenson
The modern chemist has robbed royalty of its most distinctive insignia, Tyrian purple.
"Creative Chemistry" by Edwin E. Slosson
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In poetry:

No hoard of silver I possessed,
No purple brought from Tyrian mart,
So, as love's guerdon, from my breast
With fevered hand I tore the heart.
"The Sphinx" by George Sylvester Viereck
"Take courage"—courage! ay, my purple peer
I will take courage; for thy Tyrian rays
Refresh me to the heart, and strangely dear
And healing is thy praise.
"Honours -- Part I" by Jean Ingelow
Instant a grateful form appear'd confest;
White were his locks, with awful scarlet crown'd,
And livelier far than Tyrian seem'd his vest,
That with the glowing purple tinged the ground.
"Elegy VII. He Describes His Vision to An Acquaintance" by William Shenstone