purr

noun
\ ˈpər \

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 \ adverb

Synonyms for purr

Synonyms: Noun

burr, buzz, chirr, churr, drone, hum, thrum, whir (also whirr), whiz (or whizz), zoom

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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

Then there's the endless itty-bitty purrs, the snuggles and the teeny meows to enjoy. Robert Rhoden, NOLA.com, "La. black bear makes himself at home in city of Winnfield: report," 1 June 2018 For those who love cats -- and for that matter, wine -- Sip & Purr could be the purr-fect way to spend a day. Sarah Hauer, USA TODAY, "Purr-fect! A 'cat cafe' combines wine and felines," 16 May 2018 Maya likes to have her beautiful dense coat brushed and will offer up a soft purr of contentment. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Give one of these Valley rescue pets a forever home this week," 22 June 2018 The series is chock-full of ball sequences, which are lively and colorful—and emceed with a perfect florid purr by Billy Porter. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Pose Is Bold, Necessary Melodrama," 30 May 2018 Take Chewbacca’s famous growl, part kitten purr, part ’85 Oldsmobile transmission. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "What lurks underneath 'Star Wars'' new Chewbacca? A 7-foot-3-inch former basketball player from Finland," 24 May 2018 But instead of grateful purrs, the kittens bit family members on the hand when given milk. Michelle Hunter, NOLA.com, "3 bitten when family mistakes bobcats for domestic kittens: report," 8 May 2018 Goldblum, who might be more meme than man at this point, agreed to lend his mellifluous voice to the geniuses at VICE News, who had the actor purr into a microphone and then looped the audio over and over and over again. Dana Schwartz, EW.com, "Here's 30 minutes of Jeff Goldblum purring, if you're into that sort of thing," 6 Apr. 2018 Buddy is part of a movement, a collective purr from cats all over the world who want more out of life than a warm lap and a broken shoelace. Atlanta Life, ajc, "Buddy the adventure cat," 25 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Once the car is purring again, Holthoff says to continue driving it long enough to make up for the cost of the repairs. cleveland.com, "Should you fix up or break up with your car?," 5 May 2018 A few minutes later the engine purred, preparing to whisk us back to the complicated thing that is life. Brian Irwin, BostonGlobe.com, "Turn-of-the-century sporting camp offers relaxation, fly fishing," 11 July 2018 But the consensus is that the economy will keep purring along. Jeff Sommer, New York Times, "Why a Bigger Dose of Market Panic Could Help," 30 Mar. 2018 Hathaway plays this all as a brilliant satire, purring in front of the cameras while waving her hand dismissively at the help. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "The Fascinating Reason Anne Hathaway's Ocean's 8 Character Wears French Tips," 8 June 2018 Research suggests that the purring predators have played a significant role in driving 63 species of birds, mammals and reptiles to extinction. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Australia Builds World’s Largest Cat-Proof Fence to Protect Threatened Species," 30 May 2018 Yet economists are left pondering why India has been unable to boost exports even as the global economy has purred along. The Economist, "Sluggish exports leave India needing to curry favour with investors," 10 May 2018 And so, as promised, here is a full half-hour of Jeff Goldblum purring. Dana Schwartz, EW.com, "Here's 30 minutes of Jeff Goldblum purring, if you're into that sort of thing," 6 Apr. 2018 Tenth-century Welsh statutes valued a female cat at four pence, but only for her mouse-catching and breeding abilities — not for her readiness to purr on someone’s lap. Longreads, "The Way We Treat Our Pets Is More Paleolithic Than Medieval," 22 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for purr

Last Updated

26 Jul 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for purr

The first known use of purr was circa 1616

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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 \
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

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Comments on purr

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