To be born in the purple

To be born in the purple
Purple Pur"ple, n.; pl. {Purples}. [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}.] 1. A color formed by, or resembling that formed by, a combination of the primary colors red and blue. [1913 Webster]

Arraying with reflected purple and gold The clouds that on his western throne attend. -- Milton. [1913 Webster]

Note: The ancient words which are translated purple are supposed to have been used for the color we call crimson. In the gradations of color as defined in art, purple is a mixture of red and blue. When red predominates it is called violet, and when blue predominates, hyacinth. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and purple, and scarlet. --Ex. xxvi. 1. [1913 Webster]

3. Hence: Imperial sovereignty; royal rank, dignity, or favor; loosely and colloquially, any exalted station; great wealth. ``He was born in the purple.'' --Gibbon. [1913 Webster]

4. A cardinalate. See {Cardinal}. [1913 Webster]

5. (Zo["o]l.) Any species of large butterflies, usually marked with purple or blue, of the genus {Basilarchia} (formerly {Limenitis}) as, the banded purple ({Basilarchia arthemis}). See Illust. under {Ursula}. [1913 Webster]

6. (Zo["o]l.) Any shell of the genus {Purpura}. [1913 Webster]

7. pl.(Med.) See {Purpura}. [1913 Webster]

8. pl. A disease of wheat. Same as {Earcockle}. [1913 Webster]

Note: Purple is sometimes used in composition, esp. with participles forming words of obvious signification; as, purple-colored, purple-hued, purple-stained, purple-tinged, purple-tinted, and the like. [1913 Webster]

{French purple}. (Chem.) Same as {Cudbear}.

{Purple of Cassius}. See {Cassius}.

{Purple of mollusca} (Zo["o]l.), a coloring matter derived from certain mollusks, which dyes wool, etc., of a purple or crimson color, 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. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • born in the purple — 1. Born in the purple chamber of the Byzantine empresses (historical; see ↑porphyrogenite) 2. Hence, of exalted birth • • • Main Entry: ↑purple * * * born in (or to) the purple born into a reigning family or privileged class …   Useful english dictionary

  • born to the purple — Someone who is born to the purple is born in a royal or aristocratic family. ( Born in the purple is also used.) …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • Born to the Purple — Infobox Television episode Title = Born to the Purple Series = Babylon 5 G Kar, Londo and Sinclair Caption = Season = 1 Episode = 3 Airdate = 9 February 1994 Production = 104 Writer = Larry DiTillio Director = Bruce Seth Green Guests = Fabiana… …   Wikipedia

  • born to the purple —    Someone who is born to the purple is born in a royal or aristocratic family. ( Born in the purple is also used.)   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • born to the purple — adjective Born and raised in a royal family. No one had had any experience of an emperor like Commodus, a Caesar born to the purple …   Wiktionary

  • born in the purple — ► born in (or to) the purple born into a reigning family or privileged class. Main Entry: ↑purple …   English terms dictionary

  • born to the purple — ► born in (or to) the purple born into a reigning family or privileged class. Main Entry: ↑purple …   English terms dictionary

  • born in (or to) the purple — born into a reigning family or privileged class. → purple …   English new terms dictionary

  • born to the purple — idi of royal or exalted birth …   From formal English to slang

  • The Purple Gang (band) — The Purple Gang are one of the longest lived but relatively unknown British rock bands, who narrowly missed stardom in 1967. Several of the original members are still playing together.HistoryAlthough they were associated with the London… …   Wikipedia

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