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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]
pur•lieu(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]