Difference Between Lilac and Purple

Main Difference – Lilac vs Purple

Lilac and purple are two colors that confuse many people. Although many people are familiar with the word purple, some have trouble identifying the lilac. Therefore, it is important to understand the difference between lilac and purple. Lilac is a pale violet shade with a slightly pinkish hue, named after the color of the Lilac flower. Purple is a color intermediate between red and blue. Lilac can also be described as a pale purple.

This article describes,

1. What is Lilac
   – Origins, Associated Meanings, Uses

2. What is Purple
   – Origins, Associated Meanings, Uses

3. What is the difference between Lilac and Purple?Difference Between Lilac and Purple - Comparison Summary

What is Lilac

Lilac is a pale violet shade with a slightly pinkish hue, representing the color of the Lilac flower. The Lilac flower comes in different shades, and there are different variations in the color lilac. Some of these shades include pale lilac, deep lilac and French lilac. It is also sometimes described as light purple. The hex triplet code of lilac is #C8A2C8.  Lilac flower and the bird lilac-breasted roller are the examples of the occurrence of this color in nature.

The word lilac was first used as an English color name in 1775 (first recorded use). Pale lilac color was associated with the final stages of mourning in English and European traditions. According to color psychology, this color is often associated with qualities like immaturity, youthfulness, superficiality, vanity and extroversion.

Main Difference -  Lilac vs  Purple

What is Purple

Purple is a color intermediate between red and blue. It is a composite color made by combining the primary colors blue and red. The color purple has many shades. The first recorded use of purple as a color name dates back to 975 AD.

The color purple is often associated with royalty, magic and mystery. It was the imperial color worn by the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire; it was also worn by Roman Catholic Bishops.

Although many people do not know, there is a difference between purple and violet. In terms of optics, violet is a spectral color and has its own place in the spectrum of light whereas purple is not a spectral color; it is merely made by combining the two spectral colors red and blue.

The purple color can be seen in nature as well; plant products such as grapes, eggplants, pansies, lavender, iris, etc., gemstones like tanzanite, charoite, sugilite, amethyst, as well as animals such as purple sea urchin, purple heron, and purple queenfish are some examples of the occurrence of this color in nature.

Difference Between Lilac and Purple

Shades of Purple

Difference Between Lilac and Purple

Definition

Lilac is a pale violet shade with a slightly pinkish hue, named after the color of the Lilac flower.

Purple is a color intermediate between red and blue.

Shades

Lilac can be described as a light purple.

Purple has many shades and hues.

Uses

Lilac was worn in the final stages of mourning in English and European traditions.

Purple was used as an imperial color in many empires. 

Color Psychology

Lilac often associated with qualities like immaturity, youthfulness, superficiality, vanity and extroversion.

Purple is often associated with qualities like ambition, dignity, independence, wisdom, creativity, mystery, and magic.

First Recorded Use as a Color Name

Lilac was first used as a color name in 1777.

Purple was first used as a color name in 975.

Image Courtesy:

“Color icon purple” By User:Booyabazooka – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia 

“Lilac Flower&Leaves, SC, Vic, 13.10.2007″ By Jjron – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.