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Color Meaning: Meaning of The Color Purple

This post is part of the Color Meaning Blog Series, detailing the meanings associated with colors such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, grey, black, white, brown, pink, turquoise, gold, silver, and beige.

Purple combines the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red. The color purple is often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition. Purple also represents meanings of wealth, extravagance, creativity, wisdom, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, pride, mystery, independence, and magic.

The color purple is a rare occurring color in nature and as a result is often seen as having sacred meaning. Lavender, orchid, lilac, and violet flowers are considered delicate and precious.

The color purple has a variety of effects on the mind and body, including uplifting spirits, calming the mind and nerves, enhancing the sacred, creating feelings of spirituality, increasing nurturing tendencies and sensitivity, and encouraging imagination and creativity.

Purple is associated spirituality, the sacred, higher self, passion, third eye, fulfillment, and vitality. Purple helps align oneself with the whole of the universe. Different shades, tints, and hues of purple have different meanings. Light purple hues represent feminine energy and delicacy, as well as romantic and nostalgic feelings. Dark purple hues evoke feelings of gloom, sadness, and frustration. Bright purple hues suggest riches and royalty.

Light purple or lavender is a feminine, graceful, elegant color that has long been associated with refined, wealthy women. While the color purple represents royalty, lavender represents beauty and femininity. Lavender is considered to be the “grown-up” pink. Its lighter lavender shades have a sacred place in nature, with lavender, orchid, lilac, and violet flowers considered delicate and precious. The color lavender suggests uniqueness and specialness without the deep mystery of the color purple.

Too much purple brings out qualities of irritability, impatience, and arrogance. Too little purple brings out feelings of powerlessness, negativity, and apathy.

Because the purple color is created by combining a strong warm with a strong cool color, the color retains both warm and cool properties. On one hand, the color purple can boost imagination and creativity, on the other, too much purple can cause moodiness.

Throughout history, purple robes were worn by royalty and people of authority or high rank. Many believe this to be true because the rare occurrence of purple in nature made it one of the most expensive color dyes to create. The United States Military awards the Purple Heart to soldiers wounded in battle. In Thailand, purple is the color of mourning for widows.

Purple or violet gemstones are believed to increase your imagination, remove perceived spiritual obstacles, calm confrontations, and re-energize the learning of new things.

Other meanings associated with the color purple:

  • The phrase “purple cow” refers to something remarkable, amazing, unique, stand-out, eye-catching, or unusual.
  • The term “purple prose” is used in reference to large exaggerations, lies, and highly imaginative writings.
  • The expression “purple speech” is used to describe profanity and bad language.
  • The saying “purple haze” refers to confusion or euphoria which may be drug-induced.

Additional words that represent different shades, tints, and values of the color purple: violet, plum, lavender, lilac, puce, thistle, orchid, mauve, magenta, royal, amethyst, wine, pomegranate, eggplant, mulberry, plum, lilac, thistle, orchid, mauve, purple.

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Comments & Feedback:Check out what others have to say about this post!

  1. Did you know in Cleopatra’s day the way they created purple was through snails! It too 10,000 pupura snails to create 1 ounce of purple dye. They were soaked in salt to extrude their dye. That is why only royalty could afford to have clothes made in purple!

  2. Mark Vida

    I am doing a project for my color photography class. Do you have any suggestions on how I can incorporate the color purple and its meaning into a photograph?

  3. Dr. Malak Nasr,PhD

    Amazing! Profound thoughts! Very helpful to me. I was looking to such meaning of colors in order to create a seminar on colors and personalities…it helped me so much. Thanks a lot Jennifer.

  4. I have enjoyed browsing around in the purple “isle” it is very interesting and I will return when I have time for more information into the life of colors.

    Thank you so much for sharing your interest and knowledge into this world of ours.


    Susan, Idaho

  5. Also I do study numerology and it plays a part in the color world. There is a book out written by a nun who did extensive research into the world of colors and how we as people can utilize there existence and enrich our lives better through colors.

  6. Michael

    I don’t use the color purple in business related materials, because in New England, purple is often associated with strip clubs and porn shops since their signs and advertisements are frequently bathed in purple. Am I the only one who thinks this? Is this the case in other parts of the country?

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