One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Inclining to or tinged with purple; somewhat purple; turning purple.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in George Shaw (1751–1813), natural historian. From scientific Latin purpurascens somewhat purple, turning purple, use as adjective of classical Latin purpurascēns, present participle of purpurascere to become purple from purpurāre + -sc-.
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