There are 2 main definitions of periwinkle in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

periwinkle1

Syllabification: per·i·win·kle
Pronunciation: /ˈperēˌwiNGk(ə)l
 
/

noun

An Old World plant with flat, five-petaled flowers and glossy leaves. Some kinds are grown as ornamentals, and some contain alkaloids used in medicine.
  • Genera Vinca and Catharanthus, family Apocynaceae
Example sentences
  • At the base of a tree, for example, you might have better luck with wood chips or shade-loving ornamental plants like ivy, periwinkle, or pachysandra.
  • You can even plant periwinkle, bugle and ground ivy in the gaps in your log or rock pile - this could make a fun project for an older child.
  • Like Mexican heather, periwinkles are tender.

Origin

late Old English peruince, from late Latin pervinca, reinforced in Middle English by Anglo-Norman French pervenke. The change of -v- to -w- and the addition of -le seem to have occurred before the appearance of periwinkle2.

Words that rhyme with periwinkle

lackadaisical

Definition of periwinkle in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

There are 2 main definitions of periwinkle in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

periwinkle2

Syllabification: per·i·win·kle
Pronunciation: /ˈperēˌwiNGk(ə)l
 
/

noun

Another term for winkle.
Example sentences
  • Here the interior is inlaid with millions of beautiful shells, scallops, paloudres, clams, periwinkles, mussels, oysters and rogans.
  • The fish in this dish consists of whatever the fishermen caught earlier that morning - usually prawns, mussels, periwinkles, cod and sometimes octopus.
  • In 1881, a thunderstorm in Worcester brought down tons of periwinkles and hermit crabs.

Origin

mid 16th century: of unknown origin.

Definition of periwinkle in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.