Definition of purr in US English:

purr

verb

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

    • ‘Lauren groomed Samoa's soft fur gently, and the cat purred loudly.’
    • ‘The cat purred in agreement, rubbing against the girl's cheek.’
    • ‘I wish to be inside listening to the sound of my cats purring while they slept in my lap.’
    • ‘The only sounds were the cat's purring, the clock ticking, and her own deep breaths.’
    • ‘The orange striped black cat purred and stalked towards the pool table, curling through her mistress' legs.’
    • ‘The Siamese cat purred and lazily walked towards the kitchen.’
    • ‘The cat purred loudly as Daniel scratched him behind the ears.’
    • ‘What makes him think that a cat doesn't purr because it's happy?’
    • ‘Petting the cat went fine, the cat purred and wrapped itself around my legs, so far so good.’
    • ‘‘Morning Stinky, you fat cat,’ she murmured, falling asleep to the cat's purring.’
    • ‘Ant muttered quietly, as the cat purred loudly and began to settle herself in his lap, claws digging in through his denim jeans.’
    • ‘The cat purred contentedly and settled against Nicholas' chest with a wide yawn.’
    • ‘A vibrating sound resonates through my chest cavity, like a cat purring.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 loudly as he petted her and paid attention to her.’
    • ‘The cat began purring and Misa scratched her head lovingly.’
    • ‘The cat purred and slowly closed her eyes, sticking her claws back into his stomach to find a better perch.’
    • ‘The kitten purred loudly and licked Landon's hand.’
    • ‘The brown, black, and white cat purred as Ashlei began to rub it.’
    1. 1.1 (of a vehicle or engine) move smoothly while making a low vibratory sound.
      ‘a sleek blue BMW purred past him’
      • ‘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 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 car zoomed up behind Jack's BMW, its engine purring and the bright sun reflecting off its red chassis.’
      • ‘The roads are clear, and the Lexus purrs into life as we speed through the winter mist to stake-out the suspect.’
      • ‘Gwen pulled to a stop in front of the Browning mansion, the Benz's engine purring softly under the shiny silver hood.’
      • ‘The '69 midnight blue mustang purred to life and she roared down the street.’
      • ‘My convertible purred to a near halt, maintaining a turtle speed as I skimmed the sidewalks on the way to school.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 blue Mercedes purred down I - 91 towards Lone Woman Mountain, I put my past behind me where it belonged.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He started the car, and drove off, into the horizon, his car engine purring like a happy kitten.’
      • ‘Sighs of relief all round as the car sailed along, engine purring and gears enjoying a well-deserved rest.’
      • ‘In the not-so-distant future, we could be seeing their delivery trucks purring along on cocodiesel.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Salmond machine purred into town and blew away the cobwebs.’
      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 coffee?” she purred’
      with object ‘she purred her lines seductively’
      • ‘‘Mm, I see,’ she purred letting the sheet droop even lower on her body to expose more of her skin.’
      • ‘‘Only if y-you come with me,’ she purred getting to her feet.’
      • ‘Raven purred sliding her tiny hand into his, ‘Gina didn't tell me how incredibly good-looking you are.’’
      • ‘She purred the words, a smile lulled onto her lips.’
      • ‘‘Hey, Devlin’, purred the young women as he slowly inched his way along.’
      • ‘A silky voice purred and I cringed, hating myself for what I was about to do.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Lee purred stepping closer, his eyes half open in what I thought was supposed to be a seductive manner.’
      • ‘Her voice was low and purring, seductive and soothing.’
      • ‘The words themselves were harsh, but the voice was the warm, purring sound of a female he knew he had never met before.’
      • ‘I purred a little, to catch Dauragon's attention, and he smiled thinly down at me.’
      • ‘No, I didn't soothe him with purring words of empathy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I slipped between the sheets of the bed in the darkness, and Tabitha wrapped herself around me and purred me to sleep.’
      • ‘The female voice purred seductively in his ear.’
      • ‘‘Come back to bed sugar’ she purred letting the sheet drop and laid back against the pillows.’
      • ‘Diana purred her pleasure, and snuggled closer.’
      • ‘His voice was soft, almost purring, and friendly.’
      • ‘This was a great team display, a display which left manager Ian Moffett purring with delight.’

noun

  • A low continuous vibratory sound, typically that made by a cat or vehicle.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The engine roaring to life and quieting down to a soft purr.’
    • ‘It was amazing how the birds knew the exact spot from whence the soft purr had come.’
    • ‘He moved with a liquid grace, and his voice was a deep, throaty 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The sleeping little cotton clad body tucked snugly inside, stirred gently and let out a soft purr from its throat.’
    • ‘Dario let out a sorrowful catlike purr and sniffed.’
    • ‘From deep within him a low melodic purr slowly began to grow, building slowly with each passing moment.’
    • ‘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 murmured then, in a soft purr, ‘I could get used to this.’’
    • ‘A muffled wind chime harmonized with the occasional car engine, whose purrs suggested heated seats and warm fans and glowing cigarette lighters.’
    • ‘Making contact with my cheek she strokes it softly, letting out another purr.’
    • ‘With its long slide soaking up most of recoil, firing the pistol was as tame as the purr of a contented kitten.’
    • ‘The only sound is the purr of absurdly opulent motorised yachts cruising out of the harbour for a day messing about on the waves.’
    • ‘The small feline's purr was clearly audible to Wendy, who smiled.’
    • ‘His chuckle at my confused frown sounded more like a 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.’
    • ‘A stifled purr of laughter escapes from several of the crew members.’
    • ‘But when he chose his voice was as velvety and soft as her own purr, and so deep you could drown in it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Over the course of the album, Harvey sings, hums, purrs, croons, squeals, dictates, shrieks, and whispers her lyrics to remarkable effect.’
    • ‘It would sound a twelve beat purr then go silent for a few seconds then start again.’
    • ‘Sometimes it was more vibration than sound, a swelling purr.’
    • ‘Clicks, purrs, growls, squeals, and roars are my only forms of verbal communication.’
    • ‘He finished with an exceedingly arrogant purr.’
    • ‘Maybe the cat will come sit with me and I can drift off to the sound of her purrs.’
    • ‘Every night she'd come up and turn herself into position, put her head down on my chest and purr.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As a matter of fact, the only noises in the car were Angus whimpering and the quiet purr of the car.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I sat on the counter with Blinky, stroking her, and listening to her soft purr.’
    • ‘His long coat fans all over me, and his chest vibrates with a pleased purr when I stroke his stomach.’
    • ‘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.’
    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

/pər//pər/