purr

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Onomatopoeic.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

purr (third-person singular simple present purrs, present participle purring, simple past and past participle purred)

  1. (intransitive) Of a cat, to make a vibrating sound in its throat when contented.
  2. (transitive) To say (something) in a throaty, seductive manner.
    • 2008, C. E. Osborne, Black Gold Death in the Sun (page 12)
      "This is Cindy," she purred again, flashing a smile of perfect white teeth surrounded by full red lips.
  3. (intransitive) To make a vibrating throaty sound, as from pleasure.
  4. (intransitive, of an engine) To make a low and consistent rumbling sound.
    • 2001, E. C. Craver, Last Reunion (page 159)
      Beverly passed the city limits sign with the Porsche's motor purring contentedly after its two hundred and fifty-mile romp.

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Noun[edit]

purr (plural purrs)

  1. The vibrating sound made by a cat in its throat when contented.
    • 1918, Sarath Kumar Ghosh, The wonders of the jungle - Volume 2 (page 113)
      Instead, the tiger looked around, and gave a purr, and then a growl. What did that mean? The man could not tell. Then the tiger just flung upon the man some of the sand from the side of the hollow.
  2. A throaty, seductive sound of pleasure made by a person.
    • 2006, Brenda Williamson, Wolverton Blood (page 53)
      The trill of her purr echoed inside his mouth when he kissed her again. Clutching at his shirt, her fingers traveled the muscles in his back.
  3. The low consistent rumble made by an engine at slow speed
    • 1997, Susan Wood, A Fly in Amber (page 191)
      I sat still in the car and listened to the soft purr of the engine and my beating heart. Then slowly, and as silently as possible, I drove the car back to camp.

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