Definition of purple passage in US English:

purple passage

noun

  • An elaborate or excessively ornate passage in a literary composition.

    • ‘I'm not sure more than a handful of workers would relate to the purple passages in your editorial.’
    • ‘On the rare occasions he gets it wrong, Paddy has been responsible for some of the most highly coloured purple passages in travel literature.’
    • ‘Although both narrators are prone to purple passages, the texture of Singer's Gothic prose remains one of the novel's strengths.’
    • ‘It certainly adds new meaning to the notion of a purple passage.’
    • ‘Wolfe won it for a couple of purple passages from his latest novel I am Charlotte Simmons, a tale of campus life at an exclusive US university.’
    • ‘This is hardly surprising, in view of the multiple tragedies that assailed Vierne at the time of composition, which, as detailed in the admirable notes, read like the more purple passages of the Book of Job.’
    • ‘We then came this purple passage: ‘It is the global, not European company, the global, not European brand, and global not European flows of capital that dominate…’’
    • ‘Even in the more purple passages in Brideshead, there is a chastity of prose style that prevents Waugh's linguistic exuberance from boiling over.’
    • ‘There are few, if any, purple passages, although he can occasionally be almost lyrical about the most unlikely subjects, such as a well-made TV series.’