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See more synonyms for pur on Thesaurus.com
noun, verb (used with or without object), purred, pur·ring.
  1. purr.
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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.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to express by or as if by purring.
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  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.
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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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for purred

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And the cat sat by the fireplace, purred and said never a word.

  • "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

    Hall Caine

  • "We might waive the formalities in the interests of justice," purred the Lieutenant.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • Lucy at this, had she been a cat, would have purred and kneaded the carpet.

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

British Dictionary definitions for purred


  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
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  1. a purring sound
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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 purred



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper