purple passage

purple passage (PUR-puhl PAS-ij) noun, also purple patch, purple prose

1. A brilliant passage in an otherwise dull and uninspiring work.

2. A piece of writing marked by ornate, florid style.

[From Latin pannus purpureus (purple patch), a phrase used by poet Horace in his Ars Poetica (The Art of Poetry) to suggest a patch of royal fabric on an ordinary cloth.]

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