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 (pûrl′yo͞o, pûr′lo͞o)
1. An outlying or neighboring area.
2. purlieus Outskirts; the environs.
3. A place that one frequents.

[Middle English purlewe, piece of land on the edge of a forest, probably alteration (influenced by Old French lieu, place) of porale, purale, royal perambulation, from Old French porale, from poraler, to traverse : por-, forth (from Latin prō-; see pro-1) + aler, aller, to go; see alley1.]


1. (Historical Terms) English history land on the edge of a forest that was once included within the bounds of the royal forest but was later separated although still subject to some of the forest laws, esp regarding hunting
2. (Human Geography) (usually plural) a neighbouring area; outskirts
3. (often plural) a place one frequents; haunt
4. (Human Geography) rare a district or suburb, esp one that is poor or squalid
[C15 purlewe, from Anglo-French puralé a going through (influenced also by Old French lieu place), from Old French puraler to traverse, from pur through + aler to go]


(ˈpɜr lu, ˈpɜrl yu)

n., pl. -lieus.
1. purlieus, environs or neighborhood.
2. a place frequented by a person; haunt.
3. an outlying district of a town or city.
4. a piece of land on the edge of a forest, orig. land once part of a royal forest restored to private ownership.
[1475–85; alter. (simulating French lieu place) of earlier parlewe, parley, paraley purlieu of a forest < Anglo-French purale(e) a going through]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.purlieu - an outer adjacent area of any place
References in classic literature ?
Then from his loftie stand on that high Tree Down he alights among the sportful Herd Of those fourfooted kindes, himself now one, Now other, as thir shape servd best his end Neerer to view his prey, and unespi'd To mark what of thir state he more might learn By word or action markt: about them round A Lion now he stalkes with fierie glare, Then as a Tiger, who by chance hath spi'd In some Purlieu two gentle Fawnes at play, Strait couches close, then rising changes oft His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground Whence rushing he might surest seise them both Grip't in each paw: when ADAM first of men To first of women EVE thus moving speech, Turnd him all eare to heare new utterance flow.
What I saw their bravest and their fairest do last night, the lowest multitude that could be scraped up out of the purlieus of Christendom would blush to do, I think.
At house and home with me shall no one despair: in my purlieus do I protect every one from his wild beasts.
But she had no proof of this, and her instinct in the circumstances was to avoid its purlieus.
These skulking visitors would keep about the purlieus of the camp until daylight; when, on the first stir of life among the sleepers, they would scamper off until they reached some rising ground, where they would take their seats, and keep a sharp and hungry watch upon every movement.
The village soon presented the appearance of a busy fair; and as horses were in demand, the purlieus and the adjacent plain were like the vicinity of a Tartar encampment; horses were put through all their paces, and horsemen were careering about with that dexterity and grace for which the Arickaras are noted.
As I approached the purlieus of the inhabited portion of the city I was made aware of the proximity of the warriors' quarters by the squealing and grunting of the thoats and zitidars corralled within the hollow courtyards formed by the buildings surrounding each square.
Detente is never comfortable for everybody at the table, and India views with a gelid eye The Bear on patrol in an Afghanistan it considered its purlieu post the Taliban regime.
Carpenters, sound technicians, event planners, stage designers gathered at the site daily to transform the purlieu.
Yesterday Sam, from the New Forest village of Dibden Purlieu, Hants, was reunited with the team who aved him on Boscombe Pier in Bournemouth.
START this moderately difficult three-mile walk at National Trust's car park at Hale Purlieu Common in the New Forest by heading north-east on to the common