periwinkle definition by Webster's New World
Origin: Middle English pervinke ; from Old English peruince ; from Classical Latin pervinca, periwinkle ; from pervincire, to entwine, bind ; from per- (see per) plush vincire, to bind, fetter ; from Indo-European base an unverified form weig-: see weak
- any of a family (Littorinidae) of small, intertidal saltwater snails having a thick, globular shell: some species are edible
- the shell of such a snail
Origin: ; from Old English pinewincle ; from Classical Latin pina, mussel (; from Gr) plush Old English -wincle, akin to Danish dialect, dialectal vinkel, snail shell, Old English winkel, corner ; from Indo-European an unverified form weng-, to be curved from source winch
periwinkle definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Any of several small, often edible marine snails, especially of the genus Littorina, having thick, cone-shaped, whorled shells.
- The shell of any of the periwinkles.
Origin: Middle English *periwinkle, probably alteration (influenced by pervinkle, periwinkle (plant)) of Old English pīnewincle : Latin pīna, mussel (from Greek pīnē) + Old English -wincel, snail shell.
- Any of several shrubby, trailing, evergreen plants of the genus Vinca, especially V. minor, having glossy, dark green, opposite leaves and flowers with a blue, funnel-shaped corolla. Also called myrtle.
- Any of several erect herbs of the genus Catharanthus, especially C. roseus, having flowers with a rose-pink or white salverform corolla and a closed throat.
- A pale purplish blue.
Origin: Middle English pervinkle, diminutive of pervinke, from Old English pervince, from Latin (vinca) pervinca, from pervincīre, to wind about.