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noun, verb (used with or without object), purred, pur·ring.
  1. purr.


or pur

verb (used without object)
  1. to utter a low, continuous, murmuring sound expressive of contentment or pleasure, as a cat does.
  2. (of things) to make a sound suggestive of the purring of a cat: The new motor of the car purred.
verb (used with object)
  1. to express by or as if by purring.
  1. the low, vibrating sound made by a cat by the contracting of the laryngeal muscles and the diaphragm as it breathes.
  2. a sound resembling this.
  3. the act of purring.

Origin of purr

First recorded in 1595–1605; imitative
Related formspurr·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedper purr (see usage note at per)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pur

Historical Examples

  • Felix brought him in to tea, because we are to have his report for Pur.

    The Pillars of the House, Vol. II (of 2)

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • I knew Cherry would have broken her heart to part with Pur.'

  • Wherefore they called these days Purim, after the name of Pur.

    The Bible Story

    Rev. Newton Marshall Hall

  • I am a Quartier Latinist, pur sang, and lodge only a street or two off.

    In the Days of My Youth

    Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards

  • "That is because you are not English pur sang," he cried gayly.

British Dictionary definitions for pur


  1. (intr) (esp of cats) to make a low vibrant sound, usually considered as expressing pleasure, etc
  2. (tr) to express (pleasure, etc) by this sound
  1. a purring sound

Word Origin

C17: of imitative origin; compare French ronronner to purr, German schnurren, Dutch snorren
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for pur



1610s, of imitative origin. Related: Purred; purring. As a noun from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper