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What is a color that is purplish grey called?

What is a color that is purplish grey called?

Colors that are a mix between purple and gray are referred to by several different names. Some common terms used to describe these purplish-grey colors include lavender, lilac, wisteria, mauve, and thistle. The specific name used can depend on the exact shade and hue of the color. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at purplish-grey colors, examine some of the most common names used to describe them, and provide examples so you can get a better sense of the different shades and nuances.

Defining Purplish-Grey

Purplish-grey colors sit between classic purple and gray on the color wheel. They are created by mixing a purple base with varying amounts of black, white, or grey. The more white and grey added, the more muted and soft the purplish tones become. The less white/grey, the richer the purple tones.

Purplish-greys are considered tertiary colors, meaning they are created by combining a primary color (blue/red to make purple) with a secondary color (grey). By tweaking the ratios of the two base colors, many different purplish-grey shades can be produced.

Common Names for Purplish-Grey Colors

Here are some of the most commonly used names for shades of purplish-grey:


Lavender sits on the lighter end of the purplish-grey spectrum. It is a soft, pale tone created by mixing a lot of white/grey into the purple base. Lavender is often described as a “baby” purple and associated with the delicate color of the lavender flower.

Hex Code #E6E6FA
RGB Code rgb(230,230,250)


Lilac is similar to lavender but has a slightly deeper and brighter purplish tone. It is still soft and pale but has a hint more vibrancy. Lilac is named after the light purple flowers that bloom on lilac shrubs in the spring.

Hex Code #C8A2C8
RGB Code rgb(200,162,200)


Wisteria is a shade between lavender and lilac. It has a touch more purple vibrancy than lavender but is softer than true lilac. Named after the hanging purple flowers of the wisteria vine.

Hex Code #C9A0DC
RGB Code rgb(201,160,220)


Mauve sits in the middle of the purplish-grey spectrum. It has an equal balance of purple and grey and is somewhat muted but still retains the purple tones. Mauve is associated with the purple-pink color of the mallow flower.

Hex Code #E0B0FF
RGB Code rgb(224,176,255)


Thistle is a greyish shade of purple. It has more grey than purple present, giving it a cooler, mistier look. Named after the thistle plant which produces pale purple flowers.

Hex Code #D8BFD8
RGB Code rgb(216,191,216)


Plum is a rich, deep purple-grey. It retains vibrancy while still being somewhat muted by the grey. Named after the dark purple skin of plums.

Hex Code #8E4585
RGB Code rgb(142,69,133)


Puce is a greyish purple-brown. Duller and darker than other purplish-greys with more brown undertones. Named after the color of fleas (“puces” in French).

Hex Code #CC8899
RGB Code rgb(204,136,153)

Variations in Purplish-Greys

As you can see, there are many subtle variations within purplish-grey colors. Some are pale and muted, while others are richer and darker. Choosing the right descriptive color term involves assessing where the shade falls along the spectrum from lavender to plum. Consider:

– How much grey vs purple is present?
– Is it light or dark?
– Does it have a brownish tone or a cool blueish tone?
– Is it vibrant or muted?

Naming the color specifically helps paint a more accurate picture of the exact shade and distinguish it from other purplish-greys.

Uses of Purplish-Grey Colors

Purplish-greys are popular versatile colors that complement both warm and cool palettes. Here are some of the most common uses:


Softer purplish-greys like lavender and lilac are commonly used in feminine fashion. Darker shades like plum and puce work well for brooding, moody fashion looks. Mauve and thistle are nice as accent colors.

Interior Design

Purplish-greys help create soothing, relaxing spaces. Pale shades keep rooms airy and light, while darker hues add cozy warmth. Works well in bedrooms, living rooms, and spas.


Lighter purplish-greys are on-trend wedding colors. Brides incorporate them into flowers, invitations, cakes, and bridesmaid dresses. Darker shades complement metallic accents and decor.


Many major companies use purplish-greys in their branding. Lavender evokes femininity, mauve sophistication, thistle wisdom, and plum luxury. Works for beauty, self-care, tech, and creative brands.

Historic Art & Design

Purplish-greys were popular Victorian colors. Mauve especially was hugely trendy during that era after the first synthetic purple dye was created.

Psychology of Purplish-Greys

Like other colors, purplish-greys are thought to evoke certain moods, feelings, and attributes. Here’s a look at the symbolic meaning behind these hues:


Calming, gentle, innocent, soothing, nostalgic


Delicate, elegant, romantic, feminine, sweet


Moderate, balanced, subtle, charming


Nostalgic, introspective, refined, graceful


Gentle, peaceful, traditional, mellow, genteel


Royal, prosperous, mystical, wise


Classic, antiquated, ironic

Lighter purplish-greys promote relaxation while darker shades signal mystery and sophistication. Choosing a specific shade can help reinforce the mood you want to convey.


Purplish-grey colors encompass a wide range of shades spanning the spectrum from light lavender to deep plum. While often lumped together as “purple grays”, each shade has a unique name that tells you more about its exact tone and characteristics. The specific descriptive color term provides insight into the balance of purple vs grey, light vs dark, and muted vs vibrant qualities. So what is a color that is purplish-grey called? The answer depends on the specific nuances of that particular shade.