Definition of puce in English:



  • Of a dark red or purple-brown colour.

    ‘his face was puce with rage and frustration’
    • ‘An oversized text with a puce cover, Blast's title was emblazoned diagonally across the cover in three-inch tall, bold, black type.’
    • ‘Pour into a jug and leave to cool; do not refrigerate as the syrup might crystallise and lose its fabulous puce clarity.’
    • ‘Mrs. Mahathy's face turned a beautiful puce color and her finger rose shakily towards the door.’
    • ‘She stood impassively on the shoreline in a very unflattering puce bikini that was five sizes too small for her.’
    • ‘For this occasion, she shows herself dressed in a puce silk dress with a ruffled lace edging.’


mass noun
  • A dark red or purple-brown colour.

    • ‘You might consider trying to duplicate your institution's colors in the flower and candles, unless they are something like pomegranate and puce.’
    • ‘What you take from this time as your individual gift will be different as puce and mauve.’
    • ‘The events occurring when they were reduced to 13 caused Gloucester's head coach to turn a darker shade of puce.’
    • ‘Admittedly there was no hint of green, or purple, or grey, or puce, or taupe, or beige, or whatever the hell other parties there are.’
    • ‘Some of the parliamentarians turned puce with passion in their speeches, but they didn't seem to be hurling insults at each other or constantly trying to put each other down.’


Late 18th century: from French, literally ‘flea(-colour)’, from Latin pulex, pulic-.