purr

noun
\ ˈpər How to pronounce purr (audio) \

Definition of purr

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a low vibratory murmur typical of an apparently contented or pleased cat

purr

verb
purred; purring; purrs

Definition of purr (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a purr or a sound like a purr cars purring along the highway
2a : to speak in a manner that resembles a purr
b : to speak in a malicious catty manner

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Other Words from purr

Verb

purringly \ ˈpər-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce purr (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for purr

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of purr in a Sentence

Noun the soft purr of a car engine listened to the reassuring purr of the car engine Verb The cat was purring contentedly in my lap. The cars were purring along the highway. “You look tense. Let me buy you a drink,” he purred.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Throat cancer has ravaged Val Kilmer’s signature purr, and Jack Kilmer, an actor, is an acceptable voice substitute who nevertheless sounds far more easygoing than his father ever did. New York Times, 8 July 2021 This century’s Roaring Twenties might be more like a light purr. Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2021 One gobbler may show little interest in a seductive yelp or purr, no matter how sweet the music. Matt Williams, Dallas News, 26 Mar. 2021 Late on a Wednesday night, its steady purr turned to a hard metallic staccato like the grinding gears of a car. Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times, 12 Mar. 2021 Now widowed and living in memory care in Shakopee, Schmidt, 86, still has a cat — one that meows, blinks and, when petted, vibrates slightly with a contented purr. Kevyn Burger Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 16 Feb. 2021 All the players are claw-fully purr-ty on the Kitten Bowl, which is Sunday at 2 p.m. on Hallmark. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Feb. 2021 The turbo diesel that made its debut in the 2014 Audi A6 and A7 assumes its duty with a quiet, reassuring purr. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, 11 Nov. 2020 Cotton, the commodity that made America’s economic engine purr in the 19th century, was planted and picked by another commodity — an enslaved race — on land pilfered from Indigenous inhabitants. Otis R. Taylor Jr., SFChronicle.com, 28 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Foreign investors and other business folk, Mr Xie purred, had no reason to panic. The Economist, 28 May 2020 Purr long, purr short, and kind of work them together. Matthew Every, Outdoor Life, 1 May 2020 More than 500 cars, trucks and other things that go vroom (or purr, in the case of the electric cars) will be on display, including Ford's new all-electric Mustang Mach-E, along with classic cars, special events and stuff for kids to do. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 Feb. 2020 No matter what the weather is, the last weekend of this month promises to be purr-fect. John Delapp, Houston Chronicle, 3 Jan. 2020 The gathering storm: In one of the world’s most unequal societies, a fashion designer's sewing machine purrs. Babak Tafreshi, National Geographic, 14 Apr. 2020 The universe has cooked up all sorts of bizarre and beautiful forms of matter, from blazing stars to purring cats, out of just three basic ingredients. Quanta Magazine, 30 Mar. 2020 Physics undergrads at the University of Leicester have made a growth equation for the Star Trek universe’s infamous troubling tribbles—purring balls of fluff that rapidly multiplied aboard the USS Enterprise in a classic 1967 episode. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 25 Feb. 2020 But tourists around Milan found a city that seemed to be less than purring. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, 24 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'purr.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of purr

Noun

circa 1616, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1620, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for purr

Noun

imitative

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Dictionary Entries Near purr

purpuroxanthin

purr

purre

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Statistics for purr

Last Updated

14 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Purr.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purr. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for purr

purr

noun

English Language Learners Definition of purr

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the low, soft sound that a cat makes when it is happy
: a sound that is like the purr of a cat

purr

verb

English Language Learners Definition of purr (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a purr or a sound like a purr
: to say (something) in a soft, low voice especially when you are pleased or trying to persuade someone to do something

purr

verb
\ ˈpər How to pronounce purr (audio) \
purred; purring

Kids Definition of purr

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make the low murmuring sound of a contented cat or a similar sound

purr

noun

Kids Definition of purr (Entry 2 of 2)

: the low murmuring sound of a contented cat or a similar sound the purr of the engine

More from Merriam-Webster on purr

Nglish: Translation of purr for Spanish Speakers

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