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purple, violet

[per-pul] Purple is a non-spectral color, meaning it isn’t a pure color like red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Purple is much more common in use than violet, however.

[vah-ee-uh-lit] Violet is a spectral color. Use violet for an elegant connotation. You’d usually say a balloon is purple, unless making a gift of it, then you’d say it’s violet.


shrinking violet
a shy person. ‘After skipping a grade in high school, Alice felt alienated and turned into a shrinking violet.’