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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