Periwinkle Definition

pĕrĭ-wĭngkəl
periwinkles
noun
periwinkles
Any of a family (Littorinidae) of small, intertidal saltwater snails having a thick, globular shell: some species are edible.
Webster's New World
Any of two genera (Vinca or Catharanthus) of trailing or erect, evergreen plants of the dogbane family; esp., a creeper (V. minor) with blue, white, or pink flowers, grown as a ground cover.
Webster's New World
The shell of such a snail.
Webster's New World
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.
American Heritage
A pale purplish blue.
American Heritage
Synonyms:
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adjective
Of pale bluish purple colour.
Wiktionary

Other Word Forms of Periwinkle

Noun

Singular:
periwinkle
Plural:
periwinkles

Origin of Periwinkle

  • Middle English, alteration of *pinewinkle (compare English dialectal pennywinkle), from Old English pīnewincle, compound of Latin pīna 'kind of mussel', itself from Ancient Greek pîna, variant of pínna 'mussel') and -wincle (compare Danish dial. vinkel 'snail shell'), from wincel 'corner'. More at winch and wink.

    From Wiktionary

  • 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

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Diminutive of Middle English perwinke, from Old English perfince, perwince (compare Middle High German berwinke), from Latin (vinca) pervinca (compare French pervenche, Italian pervinca), of unknown origin.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English pervinkle diminutive of pervinke from Old English pervince from Latin (vinca) pervinca from pervincīre to wind about

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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