AskDefine | Define puce

Dictionary Definition

puce n : a color varying from dark purplish brown to dark red

User Contributed Dictionary



From French "couleur puce", flea-colored, from Latin pūlex, flea.


  1. a brownish-purple color. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, deep red to dark grayish purple.
    puce colour:   


  • Finnish: punaisenruskea
  • Japanese: 暗赤色 (あんせきしょく, ansekishoku)
  • Norwegian: dypt rødt, ildrødt, loppefarge, mørkt purpurrødt, rødbrunt


  1. a brownish-purple color. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, deep red to dark grayish purple.


  • Finnish: punaisenruskea
  • Japanese: 暗赤色の (あんせきしょくの, ansekishoku no)
  • Norwegian: dyp rød, ildrød, loppefarget, mørk purpurrød, rødbrun

See also



hr-noun n



  • lang=fr|/pys/
  • SAMPA: /pys/


fr-noun f
  1. flea
  2. chip (electronics), silicon chip

Extensive Definition

Puce is a color that is defined as ranging from reddish-brown to purplish-brown, with the latter being the more widely-accepted definition found in reputable sources. It can be used as either a noun (the name of the color) or as an adjective (something having that color).
The Oxford English Dictionary dates the use of "puce" (in couleur puce) from 1775. The word comes from French; puce literally means "flea", as the usual flea coloration is either dark reddish-brown or dark purplish-brown.
According to available sources, the etymology of "puce" is French "puce" from Old French "pulce", from Latin "pūlic-", "pūlex".

Puce in popular culture

  • A collection of Walt Kelly's influential Pogo comics was called "The Pogo Puce Stamp Catalog". It had a puce cover.
  • In the Dilbert comic strip, the boss' favorite color is puce, but he doesn't know that because he is mistakenly thinking of a primary color, as he doesn't know what puce is.
  • In the computer game Nethack potions are randomly generated with different colors or other descriptions. One of the colors is puce.
  • In A more humane Mikado (Let the Punishment Fit the Crime) by Gilbert and Sullivan, The Mikado sings of the dire fate of the woman "who stains her gray hair puce".
  • Kenneth Anger made a short film called Puce Moment.
  • Santa Claus: The Movie referenced "puce" for the color the magic lollipops that made children fly, including a humorous remark about it: "If this ever takes off, we could make this in liquid form: Puce Juice."
  • In the film Monsters, Inc., Sullivan comments on having "no idea what puce is" when sorting files to take to the office. He learns soon after.
  • In the episode "I Was a Teenage Monster" from the American television show The Monkees, a Frankenstein-type monster (Richard Kiel) looks around his laboratory and says "I would do this room in lavender and puce."
  • In the British television show The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, one slogan for the fictional Grot stores is "Grot has lots of things that aren’t of any use, some of them are red, some of them are green and some of them are puce."
puce in Simple English: Puce
puce in Italian: Incarnato prugna
puce in Vietnamese: Cánh gián

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Titian, Titian-red, bricky, cardinal, carmine, carnation, carnelian, cerise, cherry, cherry-colored, cherry-red, crimson, damask, ferruginous, fiery, fire-red, flame-colored, flame-red, flaming, glowing, gules, hot, incarmined, inflamed, infrared, iron-red, lake-colored, laky, lateritious, lobster-red, lurid, maroon, port-wine, red, red-dyed, red-looking, reddened, reddish, reddish-amber, reddish-brown, rubicund, rubiginous, rubric, rubricose, ruby, ruby-colored, ruby-red, ruddied, ruddy, rufescent, rufous, rust, rust-red, rusty, scarlet, stammel, tile-red, vermilion, vinaceous, warm, wine, wine-colored, wine-red
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