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90s Slang You Should Know


or pur

[pur] /pɜr/
verb (used without object)
to utter a low, continuous, murmuring sound expressive of contentment or pleasure, as a cat does.
(of things) to make a sound suggestive of the purring of a cat:
The new motor of the car purred.
verb (used with object)
to express by or as if by purring.
the low, vibrating sound made by a cat by the contracting of the laryngeal muscles and the diaphragm as it breathes.
a sound resembling this.
the act of purring.
Origin of purr
First recorded in 1595-1605; imitative
Related forms
purringly, adverb
Can be confused
per, purr (see usage note at per) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for purr
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The newspapers pounced on them with joy, as cats pounce and purr on catnip.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • I came to the side of the punt and stroked her and she began to purr at once.

  • All purr and softness when she's a friend—and a perfect she-devil when an enemy.

  • If you can make him wash and purr in a new place, he will stay.

    A Little Girl of Long Ago Amanda Millie Douglas
  • You are soft and lax, you purr when I stroke you; I could make a pet of you.

    Rest Harrow Maurice Hewlett
  • There was no sound but the purr of machinery and the mewing of gulls in the distance.

    Mistress Anne Temple Bailey
  • He was an enormous cat, and his purr was as oversized as his body.

    The Boarded-Up House Augusta Huiell Seaman
British Dictionary definitions for purr


(intransitive) (esp of cats) to make a low vibrant sound, usually considered as expressing pleasure, etc
(transitive) to express (pleasure, etc) by this sound
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
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Word Origin and History for purr

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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