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’
    • ‘The cat purred loudly as Daniel scratched him behind the ears.’
    • ‘The cat purred loudly as he petted her and paid attention to her.’
    • ‘Ant muttered quietly, as the cat purred loudly and began to settle herself in his lap, claws digging in through his denim jeans.’
    • ‘Lauren groomed Samoa's soft fur gently, and the cat purred loudly.’
    • ‘I wish to be inside listening to the sound of my cats purring while they slept in my lap.’
    • ‘The kitten purred loudly and licked Landon's hand.’
    • ‘‘Morning Stinky, you fat cat,’ she murmured, falling asleep to the cat's purring.’
    • ‘The only sounds were the cat's purring, the clock ticking, and her own deep breaths.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Petting the cat went fine, the cat purred and wrapped itself around my legs, so far so good.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What makes him think that a cat doesn't purr because it's happy?’
    • ‘The cat purred contentedly and settled against Nicholas' chest with a wide yawn.’
    • ‘The cat began purring and Misa scratched her head lovingly.’
    • ‘The Siamese cat purred and lazily walked towards the kitchen.’
    • ‘The brown, black, and white cat purred as Ashlei began to rub it.’
    • ‘The orange striped black cat purred and stalked towards the pool table, curling through her mistress' legs.’
    • ‘The cat purred in agreement, rubbing against the girl's cheek.’
    • ‘The cat purred and slowly closed her eyes, sticking her claws back into his stomach to find a better perch.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Gwen pulled to a stop in front of the Browning mansion, the Benz's engine purring softly under the shiny silver hood.’
      • ‘Sighs of relief all round as the car sailed along, engine purring and gears enjoying a well-deserved rest.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As the blue Mercedes purred down I - 91 towards Lone Woman Mountain, I put my past behind me where it belonged.’
      • ‘The '69 midnight blue mustang purred to life and she roared down the street.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My convertible purred to a near halt, maintaining a turtle speed as I skimmed the sidewalks on the way to school.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Salmond machine purred into town and blew away the cobwebs.’
      • ‘As more than sixty of the elegant vehicles pompously purred their way through the city.’
      • ‘The roads are clear, and the Lexus purrs into life as we speed through the winter mist to stake-out the suspect.’
      purr, sound, reverberate, ring, beep, bleep, warble
    2. 1.2Speak in a low, soft voice, especially when expressing contentment or acting seductively.
      with direct speech ‘‘Would you like a coffee?’ she purred’
      • ‘The female voice purred seductively in his ear.’
      • ‘Her voice was low and purring, seductive and soothing.’
      • ‘A silky voice purred and I cringed, hating myself for what I was about to do.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His voice was soft, almost purring, and friendly.’
      • ‘This was a great team display, a display which left manager Ian Moffett purring with delight.’
      • ‘The words themselves were harsh, but the voice was the warm, purring sound of a female he knew he had never met before.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘No, I didn't soothe him with purring words of empathy.’
      • ‘‘Only if y-you come with me,’ she purred getting to her feet.’
      • ‘Diana purred her pleasure, and snuggled closer.’
      • ‘Raven purred sliding her tiny hand into his, ‘Gina didn't tell me how incredibly good-looking you are.’’
      • ‘‘Mm, I see,’ she purred letting the sheet droop even lower on her body to expose more of her skin.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘Hey, Devlin’, purred the young women as he slowly inched his way along.’
      • ‘She purred the words, a smile lulled onto her lips.’
      • ‘‘Come back to bed sugar’ she purred letting the sheet drop and laid back against the pillows.’
      • ‘I slipped between the sheets of the bed in the darkness, and Tabitha wrapped herself around me and purred me to sleep.’
      • ‘I purred a little, to catch Dauragon's attention, and he smiled thinly down at me.’
      • ‘Lee purred stepping closer, his eyes half open in what I thought was supposed to be a seductive manner.’

noun

  • A purring sound.

    ‘a contented purr’
    ‘with a soft purr, the car headed out on to the road’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Clicks, purrs, growls, squeals, and roars are my only forms of verbal communication.’
    • ‘I sat on the counter with Blinky, stroking her, and listening to her soft purr.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He murmured then, in a soft purr, ‘I could get used to this.’’
    • ‘The engine roaring to life and quieting down to a soft purr.’
    • ‘The only sound is the purr of absurdly opulent motorised yachts cruising out of the harbour for a day messing about on the waves.’
    • ‘But when he chose his voice was as velvety and soft as her own purr, and so deep you could drown in it.’
    • ‘The sleeping little cotton clad body tucked snugly inside, stirred gently and let out a soft purr from its throat.’
    • ‘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 was amazing how the birds knew the exact spot from whence the soft purr had come.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As a matter of fact, the only noises in the car were Angus whimpering and the quiet purr of the car.’
    • ‘Over the course of the album, Harvey sings, hums, purrs, croons, squeals, dictates, shrieks, and whispers her lyrics to remarkable effect.’
    • ‘With its long slide soaking up most of recoil, firing the pistol was as tame as the purr of a contented kitten.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A stifled purr of laughter escapes from several of the crew members.’
    • ‘A muffled wind chime harmonized with the occasional car engine, whose purrs suggested heated seats and warm fans and glowing cigarette lighters.’
    murmur, murmuring, drone, droning, vibration, purr, purring, buzz, buzzing, whir, whirring, throb, throbbing, thrum, thrumming

Origin

Early 17th century imitative.

Pronunciation

purr

/pəː/