Definition of purr in English:

purr

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of a cat) make a low continuous vibratory sound expressing contentment.

    ‘the cat purred loudly, rubbing against her legs’
    • ‘Lauren groomed Samoa's soft fur gently, and the cat purred loudly.’
    • ‘The brown, black, and white cat purred as Ashlei began to rub it.’
    • ‘The cat purred loudly as he petted her and paid attention to her.’
    • ‘The only sounds were the cat's purring, the clock ticking, and her own deep breaths.’
    • ‘The kitten purred loudly and licked Landon's hand.’
    • ‘The cat purred and slowly closed her eyes, sticking her claws back into his stomach to find a better perch.’
    • ‘The cat purred with magnificent indifference and left via the flap Arthur had fitted so badly they'd had to employ a carpenter to put things right.’
    • ‘The cat purred loudly as Daniel scratched him behind the ears.’
    • ‘Petting the cat went fine, the cat purred and wrapped itself around my legs, so far so good.’
    • ‘What makes him think that a cat doesn't purr because it's happy?’
    • ‘‘Morning Stinky, you fat cat,’ she murmured, falling asleep to the cat's purring.’
    • ‘He's not sure that cats purr to self-heal, but there is a clipping in my box in the basement that says that purring is very close to the ultra sound that we use on bone fractures.’
    • ‘The cat purred in agreement, rubbing against the girl's cheek.’
    • ‘A vibrating sound resonates through my chest cavity, like a cat purring.’
    • ‘I wish to be inside listening to the sound of my cats purring while they slept in my lap.’
    • ‘Ant muttered quietly, as the cat purred loudly and began to settle herself in his lap, claws digging in through his denim jeans.’
    • ‘The orange striped black cat purred and stalked towards the pool table, curling through her mistress' legs.’
    • ‘The cat began purring and Misa scratched her head lovingly.’
    • ‘The cat purred contentedly and settled against Nicholas' chest with a wide yawn.’
    • ‘The Siamese cat purred and lazily walked towards the kitchen.’
    1. 1.1no object, with adverbial of direction (of a vehicle or engine) move smoothly while making a similar sound.
      ‘a sleek blue BMW purred past him’
      • ‘They were not disappointed as the 25 vintage cars purred into town, making a grand tour of the area after the parade for the occasion.’
      • ‘As the sky made its final graduations to ink black, a single car purred softly up the road, but no one inside the houses were out to notice.’
      • ‘Gwen pulled to a stop in front of the Browning mansion, the Benz's engine purring softly under the shiny silver hood.’
      • ‘They buy a secondhand sub that sounds fine as it purrs its way out of Faslane, but a day out of port, the vessel is swept by a serious fire. The Canadians are far too polite to say as much, but they feel as though they've been had.’
      • ‘As more than sixty of the elegant vehicles pompously purred their way through the city.’
      • ‘As the blue Mercedes purred down I - 91 towards Lone Woman Mountain, I put my past behind me where it belonged.’
      • ‘The high priced vehicles that purred their way down the streets, the pollution free electrical engines carrying the people of this level around, were far more expensive than anyone on a lower level could afford.’
      • ‘The Salmond machine purred into town and blew away the cobwebs.’
      • ‘The '69 midnight blue mustang purred to life and she roared down the street.’
      • ‘The car softly purred to a stop outside her house, and a man, sleekly and darkly dressed, got out and confidently walked straight into the house!’
      • ‘The roads are clear, and the Lexus purrs into life as we speed through the winter mist to stake-out the suspect.’
      • ‘Sighs of relief all round as the car sailed along, engine purring and gears enjoying a well-deserved rest.’
      • ‘If you drove a formula one racing car to work and you stopped at the garage to put in high-octane fuel, your car would purr with delight and function to the best of its capabilities.’
      • ‘In the not-so-distant future, we could be seeing their delivery trucks purring along on cocodiesel.’
      • ‘My convertible purred to a near halt, maintaining a turtle speed as I skimmed the sidewalks on the way to school.’
      • ‘The car zoomed up behind Jack's BMW, its engine purring and the bright sun reflecting off its red chassis.’
      • ‘He started the car, and drove off, into the horizon, his car engine purring like a happy kitten.’
      • ‘People rarely walked up this way to Tamberly Road and the large houses looming at the end of it, preferring to purr their way up in sleek black cars.’
      • ‘Still, it won't the the only thing on that peninsula that's becoming a rich person's plaything, judging by the flash cars purring in and out of the yuppie village.’
      purr, sound, reverberate, ring, beep, bleep, warble
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    2. 1.2 Speak in a low, soft voice, especially when expressing contentment or acting seductively.
      with direct speech ‘‘Would you like a coffee?’ she purred’
      • ‘She purred the words, a smile lulled onto her lips.’
      • ‘A silky voice purred and I cringed, hating myself for what I was about to do.’
      • ‘Nicholas had leaned over the couch between an unphased Dominique and yours truly and snuggled his face right next to mine to purr that particular question.’
      • ‘Raven purred sliding her tiny hand into his, ‘Gina didn't tell me how incredibly good-looking you are.’’
      • ‘‘Only if y-you come with me,’ she purred getting to her feet.’
      • ‘Maybe, who always wore stiletto heals and whit eyeliner around her bright blue eyes, she made me think of a kitty cat, slinking around in silk dresses and purring her hellos.’
      • ‘‘Come back to bed sugar’ she purred letting the sheet drop and laid back against the pillows.’
      • ‘The words themselves were harsh, but the voice was the warm, purring sound of a female he knew he had never met before.’
      • ‘This was a great team display, a display which left manager Ian Moffett purring with delight.’
      • ‘‘Mm, I see,’ she purred letting the sheet droop even lower on her body to expose more of her skin.’
      • ‘I purred a little, to catch Dauragon's attention, and he smiled thinly down at me.’
      • ‘Diana purred her pleasure, and snuggled closer.’
      • ‘His voice was soft, almost purring, and friendly.’
      • ‘The voice purred in his head, clear as though someone had leant down to his ear and spoken in the normal tone of conversational speech.’
      • ‘The female voice purred seductively in his ear.’
      • ‘No, I didn't soothe him with purring words of empathy.’
      • ‘Lee purred stepping closer, his eyes half open in what I thought was supposed to be a seductive manner.’
      • ‘I slipped between the sheets of the bed in the darkness, and Tabitha wrapped herself around me and purred me to sleep.’
      • ‘Her voice was low and purring, seductive and soothing.’
      • ‘‘Hey, Devlin’, purred the young women as he slowly inched his way along.’

noun

  • A purring sound.

    ‘a contented purr’
    ‘with a soft purr, the car headed out on to the road’
    • ‘Pheonix leaned his muzzle close to her face and rubbed his warm but wet nose against her cheek, giving off a sound close to a purr, but possibly it was an affectionate growl.’
    • ‘The small feline's purr was clearly audible to Wendy, who smiled.’
    • ‘Maybe the cat will come sit with me and I can drift off to the sound of her purrs.’
    • ‘His long coat fans all over me, and his chest vibrates with a pleased purr when I stroke his stomach.’
    • ‘The ferret gobbled them up eagerly and curled up in Nathalie's lap, making a strange noise that sounded like something between a snore and a purr.’
    • ‘From deep within him a low melodic purr slowly began to grow, building slowly with each passing moment.’
    • ‘Clicks, purrs, growls, squeals, and roars are my only forms of verbal communication.’
    • ‘The sleeping little cotton clad body tucked snugly inside, stirred gently and let out a soft purr from its throat.’
    • ‘The only sound is the purr of absurdly opulent motorised yachts cruising out of the harbour for a day messing about on the waves.’
    • ‘It would sound a twelve beat purr then go silent for a few seconds then start again.’
    • ‘It was amazing how the birds knew the exact spot from whence the soft purr had come.’
    • ‘He finished with an exceedingly arrogant purr.’
    • ‘All she heard were her footsteps on the hardwood floor, the knock against the office door and the muffled ‘Come in,’ followed by a near silent purr.’
    • ‘There was a soft purr and then Kino jumped onto the counter top and began to gnaw at the slab of pepperoni that was lying on the cutting board.’
    • ‘It beeped and whirred to life, the hard-drive sounding its soft purr as it accessed the system files needed to rouse the little giant.’
    • ‘He moved with a liquid grace, and his voice was a deep, throaty purr,’
    • ‘Back at Gleb and Sherry's condo, Yoli and I were introduced to their cat, a sleek animal that was actually friendly, with nearly continuous purrs or meows emanating from its cute little open mouth.’
    • ‘Every night she'd come up and turn herself into position, put her head down on my chest and purr.’
    • ‘I sat on the counter with Blinky, stroking her, and listening to her soft purr.’
    • ‘Stroking in circular motions, tracing down her sides, then up her spine and outward again to repeat the process; continuing to receive encouraging purrs from her.’
    • ‘His chuckle at my confused frown sounded more like a purr.’
    • ‘She continues her satisfied purrs once again, and I join her, smiling warmly down at her, she's being so much nicer to me now.’
    • ‘Dario let out a sorrowful catlike purr and sniffed.’
    • ‘The engine roaring to life and quieting down to a soft purr.’
    • ‘So the house settled to the happy snip-snip of shears, and the gentle purr of the lawnmower outside and me tip-tapping on the keyboard inside.’
    • ‘Sometimes it was more vibration than sound, a swelling purr.’
    • ‘Over the course of the album, Harvey sings, hums, purrs, croons, squeals, dictates, shrieks, and whispers her lyrics to remarkable effect.’
    • ‘She made a low noise: not a purr, not quite a growl and I released a shuddering breath into the encompassing warmth of her fur.’
    • ‘With his eyes closed, all that he could hear was the rhythmic drumming of water upon the car and the soft purr of its engine.’
    • ‘But when he chose his voice was as velvety and soft as her own purr, and so deep you could drown in it.’
    • ‘With its long slide soaking up most of recoil, firing the pistol was as tame as the purr of a contented kitten.’
    • ‘A muffled wind chime harmonized with the occasional car engine, whose purrs suggested heated seats and warm fans and glowing cigarette lighters.’
    • ‘She gently petted the top of his head and noticed how, much like a cat, his eyes started closing in pleasure and the unmistakable vibration of a purr reached her.’
    • ‘As a matter of fact, the only noises in the car were Angus whimpering and the quiet purr of the car.’
    • ‘A stifled purr of laughter escapes from several of the crew members.’
    • ‘Making contact with my cheek she strokes it softly, letting out another purr.’
    • ‘He murmured then, in a soft purr, ‘I could get used to this.’’
    • ‘When they had moved perhaps 70 yards away and out of sight, I picked up a slate call and made one very light purr and cluck.’
    • ‘He started to drift off to sleep at the soothing sound of the cat's purr, but was awakened by his mother storming into the room causing the door to smack against the wall.’
    • ‘I can hear the click click of bicycle chains and the gentle purr of cars rolling past behind me, mimicking the lapping sound of the waves.’
    murmur, murmuring, drone, droning, vibration, purr, purring, buzz, buzzing, whir, whirring, throb, throbbing, thrum, thrumming
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Origin

Early 17th century: imitative.

Pronunciation

purr

/pəː/