- 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 purs
Loud were his purs and extravagant were the curl of his tail and the arch of his back!The Dawn of Reason
Whan the poller sawe the preste was tourned, he snatched vp the purs, and toke his legges and to go.Shakespeare Jest-Books;
In all this, I speak of the lower orders, the Corsicans purs et simples.A Lady's Tour in Corsica, Vol. I (of 2)
- (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 purs
1610s, of imitative origin. Related: Purred; purring. As a noun from c.1600.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper