Purple Ribbon Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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Just about everyone knows the meaning behind a pink ribbon. It’s become a universal symbol of breast cancer awareness over the years — but have you ever seen someone wearing a purple ribbon and wondered what it meant? 

In this post, we’re exploring awareness ribbons to uncover all there is to know about the purple one. So, if you’re interested in learning what it means when a purple ribbon is worn — keep reading. 

What Is the Definition of Purple Ribbon?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details behind the purple awareness ribbon, what exactly are these ribbons? 

While they may just be small pieces of colored fabric, awareness ribbons help raise consciousness and show support for a cause.

The purple ribbon is one of the most commonly used colors and represents well over 70 various causes and conditions. That being said, the solid purple ribbon is predominantly known to stand for Epilepsy awareness, Pancreatic cancer awareness, Lupus awareness, and Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD/ADHD awareness. 

We wear these ribbons whenever we want to raise awareness about these conditions; however, there are some causes that have awareness months when these ribbons are especially common. For example, ADD/ADHD awareness month is September of each year and Lupus awareness month is May of each year.

Below you will find the full list of causes represented by the purple awareness ribbon:

  • Thyroid Cancer
  •  Animal Abuse
  • Victims of 9/11
  • Rett Syndrome
  • Thymoma Cancer
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Mesh Survivor
  • Religious Tolerance
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Chronic Pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • No Unattended Kids in Cars
  • Domestic Violence, Migraines (alternate color: burgundy)
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Neuropathy Awareness
  • Mucolipidosis
  • Lupus
  • Leiomyosarcoma
  • Homelessness
  • Harmony
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Epilepsy
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Colitis
  • Chronic Pain
  • Intestinal GI Cancer
  • Fibromyalgia in Men
  • Anti-Violence
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Arnold Chiari Malformation
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Animal Abuse

Here, we’ve provided causes represented by the lavender awareness ribbon:

  • Rett Syndrome
  • Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis
  • Infantile Spasms
  • Foster Care
  • Gynecological Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Caregiver Appreciation

In addition, the violet awareness ribbon stands for Hodgkin’s disease, as well as Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, with the final shade of purple, the orchid awareness ribbon representing Testicular cancer.

What Are the Meanings Behind Other Awareness Ribbon Colors?

As you can see, the purple ribbon represents quite a few awareness campaigns — but, it’s not the only meaningful ribbon out there. Here are some of the other awareness ribbons and what they represent: 

Black RibbonPOW/MIA Awareness, Student for Gun Control, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Melanoma, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, Amish support, Gang Prevention, Mourning, and Sleep Disorders

Orange Ribbon — MS or Multiple Sclerosis, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, Renal Cell Carcinoma or Kidney Cancer, Lupus, Leukemia, Melanoma, Sensory Processing Disorder, Self Injury, Racial Tolerance, and Prader-Willi Syndrome

Teal Ribbon — Ovarian Cancer, Agoraphobia, Batten Disease, Marker X Syndrome, PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PKD or Polycystic Kidney Disease, Cervical Cancer, Rape, Tourette’s Syndrome, Substance Abuse, and Ectodermal Dysphasia

Pink Ribbon — Women’s health, Breast Cancer Awareness, Birth Parents and Nursing Mothers

Red Ribbon — HIV/AIDS Support, Heart Disease, Substance Abuse, Blood Disorders, and Cancers, Cardiovascular Disease, DARE, MADD, Long Q-T Syndrome, Wolf-Parkinsons Disease

Yellow Ribbon — Adenonsarcoma, Ewings Sarcoma, Gulf War, Spina Bifida, Missing Children, Suicide Awareness and Suicide Prevention, POW/MIA, Rare Disease Awareness, Bone Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Amber Alert, Bladder Cancer, Military or Troop Support, Canadian Cancer Society, Neuroendocrine Tumors, Carcinoid Tumors, and Liver Disease

Gold Ribbon — COPD, Childhood Cancer, Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma, Osteosarcoma, and Neuroblastoma

Green Ribbon — Childhood Depression, Cerebral Palsy, Bipolar Disorder, BOS or Bronchiolitis Obliterans, Adrenal Cancer, Neurofibromatosis, Mental Illness, Bone Marrow Donation, Tissue Donation, Mitochondrial Disease, Nephrotic Syndrome and Traumatic Brain Injury

Blue Ribbon — Child Abuse Prevention, Anti-Bullying, Sex Slavery Awareness, Addition Recovery Awareness, Alopecia, Apraxia, Arthritis, Colon Cancer, Drink Driving, ARDS or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Foster Care Awareness, Police Lost in the Line of Duty, and Chronic Fatigue syndrome

What Are Translations of Purple Ribbon?

Now that you’re aware of what the purple ribbon indicates, let’s take a look at how you can say our word of the day in various languages. 

Translations of the phrase purple ribbon include:

  • Afrikaans — pers lint
  • Arabic — الشريط الأرجواني
  • Bulgarian — лилава лента
  • Chinese (simplified) — 紫色丝带
  • Croatian — ljubičasta vrpca
  • Czech — fialová stuha
  • Danish — lilla bånd
  • Dutch — paars lint
  • Finnish — violetti nauha
  • French — ruban violet
  • German — lila Band
  • Greek — μωβ κορδέλα
  • Italian — nastro viola
  • Japanese — パープルリボン
  • Korean — 보라색 리본
  • Norwegian — lilla bånd
  • Polish — fioletowa wstążka
  • Portuguese — fita roxa
  • Russian — фиолетовая лента
  • Spanish — cinta púrpura
  • Swedish — lila band
  • Thai — ริบบิ้นสีม่วง
  • Turkish — mor kurdele
  • Ukrainian — фіолетова стрічка
  • Vietnamese — ruy băng màu tím


To recap, the purple awareness ribbon is most commonly identified with conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, and pancreatic cancer. However, it is a very popular color and is used to represent over 70 different awareness campaigns. 


About: List of awareness ribbons | DbPedia

How To Make An Awareness Ribbon In 4 Easy Steps | Create To Donate

Purple Ribbon Campaign | Violence Prevention Initiative