Definition of mauve in US English:



  • Of a pale purple color.

    • ‘They advised the removal of older, wooden icons and statues to a nearby day chapel, and created a muted background of bronze and mauve colour.’
    • ‘Ten years of girls' boarding schools decked out in mauve tunics, jumper, mauve tie and mauve bloomers gave me a certain antipathy to the colour.’
    • ‘Flower blossoms are creamy white with mauve caps and are frugally placed up the stem above glossy green foliage.’
    • ‘The mauve jacket she wore with white trousers set off her lightly tanned skin and her sage green eyes.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, I'll continue to grow it as a background shrub and cut its aromatic mauve branches for flower arrangements.’
    • ‘Before our interview, she had been for her weekly visit to the hairdressers and, when we meet, her hair is elegantly coiffeured and she is wearing a mauve skirt with matching sweater and nail varnish.’
    • ‘This was a bed-less but mattress-strewn upstairs room already filled with a giggling band of musicians who wore mauve hats at rakish angles.’
    • ‘The wind was blowing through her fancy curtained window and a light breeze hit her long brown hair as it dangled off the bed hitting the pale purple and mauve comforter.’
    • ‘The door slides open, and Daphne gladly exchanges the confines of the mirrored elevator for the wide white and mauve hallway.’
    • ‘In the glass, it is a lovely deep and brooding mauve colour.’
    • ‘Her first exhibition of miniatures and flower paintings was in 1954, but it was not until 20 years later she came across a mauve toadstool in the garden and decided to paint it.’
    • ‘She wore a white tunic with pale mauve sleeves and veil.’
    • ‘Imagine bright mauve flowers on Valentine's Day!’
    • ‘Smaller trees cast mauve shadows on the curved sidewalk.’
    • ‘A subsequent visit confirmed it was not in the ocher-beige layer, but embedded in the underlying coat of pale mauve paint.’
    • ‘She is headed downtown on foot now in a good mauve dress.’
    • ‘The wonderful mauve comforter had been shredded.’
    • ‘It is my all-time favourite because it is so dark and it's an excellent year-round plant offering good-looking foliage, tiny mauve flowers and persistent black berries.’
    • ‘Lilith walked with grace and ease down the short corridor, looking around in revulsion at the peeling mauve wallpaper and creaking old floor.’
    • ‘The canine youth stared up at the high roof and decorative mauve trim of the pale blue structure.’


  • 1A pale purple color.

    ‘a few pale streaks of mauve were all that remained of the sunset’
    ‘glowing with soft pastel mauves and pinks’
    • ‘All shades of purple were displayed in dark hues, mauves, lilacs and magentas.’
    • ‘It's a silvery world of mauves, soft greens and occasional outbursts of clear colour.’
    • ‘Shell pink, raspberry pink, purple, mauve and turquoise are just some of the colours that will dominate.’
    • ‘Soft pastels are suitable in certain contexts; mauves and browns are not.’
    • ‘Already visible in 2003, by 2004 coloured fashion handbags will become usual again as bags of all colours from mauves to chartreuse are used to provide chic statement looks to a more casually dressed consumer.’
    • ‘These were highlighted by a few soft coral bushes in deep red and mauves.’
    • ‘More polished, however, are three rather later vessels, probably dating from the third quarter of the fourteenth century, and ranging in colour from deep purple to pale mauve by way of brownish red.’
    • ‘They come in the girliest pinks, mauves and purples.’
    • ‘There were the mornings when the world was shrouded in a mist which turned subtly mauve, and then as the sun broke through, the mountainsides all around flamed orange-red.’
    • ‘Grey carbuncled shells of giant clams open up to reveal a flesh of startling beauty, soft mauves dotted with electric blue and the palest of yellow.’
    • ‘For most planting, I generally prefer subtle colours such as blues, mauves, whites and pinks.’
    • ‘Some are white, many in hues of lavender and lilac, pale mauves and deep purples, and a host of other colors.’
    • ‘Sunset cast a soft mauve, pink and orange hue on the tips of the snow clad mountains.’
    • ‘The colour of choice for the women was pale pink or mauve.’
    • ‘The color photograph is softly lit and the image's color palette ranges from a cool gray-blue to mauve to beige.’
    • ‘Dark reds, purples and mauves will dry very dark and sometimes turn black.’
    • ‘Vivid with the crimson and mauves of bougainvillea, the 40-by - 48-inch painting reveals a distant, craggy, mountainous landscape rising above a desert floor.’
    • ‘‘When it's over I'll bring you somewhere,’ he told me all of a sudden, without turning his head, his eyes transfixed on the rich crimsons and mauves in the sky.’
    • ‘There is a far greater amount of virtuoso line drawing containing localized colors in these sheets, and the palette has become more acrid with the use of light yellows, pinks, oranges, beiges, greens, blues and mauves.’
    • ‘The colours are strongly linked to fashion as I really like the limes, mauves and hot pinks that are so popular at the moment.’
  • 2historical A pale purple aniline dye prepared by William H. Perkin in 1856. It was the first synthetic dyestuff.

    • ‘The 1856 discovery of the first synthetic aniline dye, mauve, marked a new era in textile dyeing.’
    • ‘The first synthetic dye, mauve, was prepared in 1856 by the English chemist William Henry Perkin.’
    • ‘Cells were first stained with aniline dyes - mauve in fact - in the early 1860s.’
    • ‘In 1856 a colour was discovered, mauve, our first synthetic dye.’
    • ‘One example is the story of the clarification of the chemical structure of Perkin's mauve, the first synthetic dyestuff.’


Mid 19th century: from French, literally ‘mallow’, from Latin malva.