- 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.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for purred
Then she purred, “John, if you wear a double-breasted jacket, you must always keep it buttoned.”The Sexy Side of Maggie: How Thatcher Used Her Softer Quality
January 11, 2012
“Something is happening in our world,” he purred in almost reverent tones.Get Real, Obama!
September 22, 2011
And when Beyoncé appeared in a gold sequined dress, Ford purred: "Now I'm really straight."The Cursed Fashion House
September 14, 2010
And the cat sat by the fireplace, purred and said never a word.The Chinese Fairy Book
"Charmed at your kind interest in my playthings, I'm sure," he purred.The Einstein See-Saw
Miles John Breuer
The cat, sitting on the ledge inside, rubbed against his hand and purred.The Manxman
"We might waive the formalities in the interests of justice," purred the Lieutenant.The Strolling Saint
Lucy at this, had she been a cat, would have purred and kneaded the carpet.Love and Lucy
Maurice Henry Hewlett
- (intr) (esp of cats) to make a low vibrant sound, usually considered as expressing pleasure, etc
- (tr) to express (pleasure, etc) by this sound
- a purring sound
C17: of imitative origin; compare French ronronner to purr, German schnurren, Dutch snorren
Word Origin and History for purred
1610s, of imitative origin. Related: Purred; purring. As a noun from c.1600.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper