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 purringly (audio) \ 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

But in the sublime, time-stopping Poco adagio, the gentle purr of the organ beneath the orchestra sounds one-dimensional. Barbara Jepson, WSJ, "Uncertain Tempo," 31 Dec. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kitties can easily reduce your levels of stress—especially for women above 50 years old—and the comforting rhythmic sound of their purring actually has healing powers. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "According to Research, Being a Cat Lady is Actually Good For You," 15 May 2019 The shuttle’s AR windshield became a tapestry of wish-fulfillment: images of my face on a more sculpted body in an ad for a barre class, an image of me with a beautiful woman purring about a dating app. Verge Staff, The Verge, "Seven scary stories to tell by the light of your screen," 31 Oct. 2018 Theplumbago-blue dining room opens on one side to a tropical conservatory, paneled in pale lime-green bamboo, where hummingbirds purr over orchid plants, banana fronds, and palms. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Inside Tory Burch’s Lovingly Restored Antigua Getaway," 15 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. Philip Reed, chicagotribune.com, "Should you fix the old beater or buy a newer car?," 27 Apr. 2018 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

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

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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 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on purr

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with purr

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for purr

Spanish Central: Translation of purr

Nglish: Translation of purr for Spanish Speakers

Comments on purr

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