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Color icon violet.jpg


Middle English, from Anglo-French violete, diminutive of viole violet, from Latin viola Date: 14th century The first recorded use of violet as a color name in English was in 1370.


  • 1 a : any of a genus (Viola of the family Violaceae, the violet family) of chiefly herbs with alternate stipulate leaves and showy flowers in spring and often cleistogamous flowers in summer; especially : one with smaller usually solid-colored flowers as distinguished from the usually larger-flowered violas and pansies
b : any of several plants of genera other than that of the violet — compare dogtooth violet
  • 2 : any of a group of colors of reddish-blue hue, low lightness, and medium saturation


As the name of a color, violet (named after the flower violet) is synonymous with a bluish purple. Since Isaac Newton listed violet as his name for the color of the short-wavelength end of the visible spectrum (approximately 380–450 nm),[1] when both of the names purple and violet are used within the same system, violet tends to represent colors nearer to blue, while purple is used for colors more nearly between blue and red. Objects reflecting only light wavelengths in the aforementioned “violet range” would appear very dark, because human vision is relatively insensitive to those wavelengths, but the color of a monochromatic light source emitting only those wavelengths can be roughly approximated by the color shown below as electric violet.[1]

See also