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

Here's hoping that this special friend finds the purr-fect family. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Facebook Has Fallen in Love With Bruno the “High Maintenance" Cat," 17 Aug. 2018 The no-fuss look comes together with just a few black pieces, cat ears, and cat makeup, making it a purr-fect last-minute costume for kids or adults. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "How to Make a Purr-fect Cat Costume for Halloween," 1 Aug. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For most of that first day home, his cat sat in his lap, purring and looking up at him in total adoration. Lindsey Vehlewald, SELF, "We Never Got Flu Shots. Then the Flu Almost Killed My Husband," 9 Nov. 2018 As the meal wound down, brief remarks came from Anna Wintour and Diane von Furstenberg while hidden Vespas quietly purred, and the lights went dim. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Inside the 2018 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Gala Dinner," 6 Nov. 2018 Cars purr down roads briskly, and there’s no honking. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "50 Things to Do in Asia Before You Die," 24 Sep. 2018 In episode 3, Ash catches a Caterpie, a purring caterpillar Pokémon who has a conversation with Pikachu while the pair stargaze, existentially awed by the vastness of the universe. Devon Maloney, The Verge, "Today’s weird kids’ YouTube channels have nothing on the first season of Pokémon," 8 Sep. 2018 An aerator purred bubbles into the cold, clear water. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "Hand-feeding a wild orca: Inside the practice run to save the ailing killer whale J50," 6 Aug. 2018 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

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

15 Nov 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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