Definition of purr in English:


Line breaks: purr
Pronunciation: /pəː


[no object]
1(Of a cat) make a low continuous vibratory sound expressing contentment: the cat purred loudly, rubbing against her legs
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] (Of a vehicle or engine) move smoothly while making a similar sound: a sleek blue BMW purred past him
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.2Speak in a low, soft voice, especially when expressing contentment or acting seductively: [with direct speech]: ‘Would you like a coffee?’ she purred
More example sentences
  • 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.


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A purring sound: a contented purr with a soft purr, the car headed out on to the road
More example sentences
  • 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.


early 17th century: imitative.

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