9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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
1595-1605; imitative
Related forms
purringly, adverb
Can be confused
per, purr (see usage note at per) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for purr
  • Suppose a collapse in rubbed purr, in rubbed purr get.
  • There are cats who will climb on any one and purr with delight.
  • Too often the soothing rattle-and-purr of their air-conditioners fades into sweaty silence.
  • His technique and elegance should make any cricket fan purr.
  • The mumble of humility masks the purr of self-satisfaction.
  • Compared with the roar of chemical rockets, electric propulsion produces only a gentle purr.
  • House cats employ a vocal repertoire that extends from a purr to a screech.
  • The sweet purr promised one of our precious vices-coffee.
  • Evil has arrived there in a sleek, fleshy package with a baritone purr.
  • The fact that a previous study found that cats with paralyzed larynges couldn't purr was consistent with this idea.
British Dictionary definitions for purr


(intransitive) (esp of cats) to make a low vibrant sound, usually considered as expressing pleasure, etc
(transitive) to express (pleasure, etc) by this sound
a purring sound
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
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Word Origin and History for purr

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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