There are 2 main definitions of periwinkle in English:

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periwinkle 1

Pronunciation: /ˈperēˌwiNGk(ə)l/

noun

1An Old World plant with flat five-petaled, typically bluish 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.
1.1 (also periwinkle blue) A purple-blue color like that of a periwinkle flower: the sky was a clear periwinkle and the sun sparkled like a shiny jewel [as modifier]: Anne was wearing a periwinkle evening gown with small puffed sleeves
More example sentences
  • The basic color scheme is a soft buttery yellow for the cabinets, with periwinkle blue on the cabinet handles.
  • She bent to retrieve the periwinkle colored ribbon neatly folded on the floor.
  • It's a light purple, almost a periwinkle, sleeveless, and with little diamonds all over.

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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: per·i·win·kle

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There are 2 main definitions of periwinkle in English:

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periwinkle 2

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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: per·i·win·kle

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