[ pur ]
/ pɜr /

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

Nearby words

  1. puppy fat,
  2. puppy love,
  3. puppyfoot,
  4. puppyish,
  5. pupu,
  6. pur-,
  7. puracé,
  8. purana,
  9. puranas,
  10. purbach


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 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. 2019

Examples from the Web for purring

British Dictionary definitions for purring


/ (pɜː) /


(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

Word Origin for purr

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 purring



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper