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2017 Word of the Year

pur

[pur] /pɜr/
noun, verb (used with or without object), purred, purring.
1.
purr.

purr

or pur

[pur] /pɜr/
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)
3.
to express by or as if by purring.
noun
4.
the low, vibrating sound made by a cat by the contracting of the laryngeal muscles and the diaphragm as it breathes.
5.
a sound resembling this.
6.
the act of purring.
Origin of purr
1595-1605
First recorded in 1595-1605; imitative
Related forms
purringly, adverb
Can be confused
per, purr (see usage note at per)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for purring
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All but purring with satisfaction and relief, Calendar halted.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • The purring and humming increased, and the car seemed to leap forward.

  • Cats were purring on the counters of the fruit store and the tripe shop.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • The fall of Clump-clump in particular kept them purring like pet cats.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • The old lady had made her toilette, and her cat was purring on a cushion by her side.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • A cat had established itself beside it, and was purring softly.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • Moglaut, not looking up from the purring machine, shook his head.

    Zero Data Charles Saphro
  • Skip and I heard it purring when we first came in here this afternoon.

  • It was the animal in the desert droning and purring to itself in excess of ease.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
British Dictionary definitions for purring

purr

/pɜː/
verb
1.
(intransitive) (esp of cats) to make a low vibrant sound, usually considered as expressing pleasure, etc
2.
(transitive) to express (pleasure, etc) by this sound
noun
3.
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 purring

purr

v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for purring

10
14
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