- 1[intransitive] when a cat purrs, it makes a low continuous sound in the throat, especially when it is happy or comfortable The cat was purring contentedly on my lap.
- 2[intransitive] (of a machine or vehicle) to make a low continuous sound; to move making such a sound a purring engine The car purred away. See related entries: Driving
- 3[intransitive, transitive] (+ speech) to speak in a low and gentle voice, for example to show you are happy or satisfied, or because you want to attract somebody or get them to do something He was purring with satisfaction. Word Origin early 17th cent.: imitative.Extra examples He was almost purring with satisfaction. The engine purred softly. She turned the key and the engine purred to life. The car purred smoothly along the narrow lane.
BrE BrE//pɜː(r)//; NAmE NAmE//pɜːr//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they purr
BrE BrE//pɜː(r)//; NAmE NAmE//pɜːr//he / she / it purrs
BrE BrE//pɜːz//; NAmE NAmE//pɜːrz//past simple purred
BrE BrE//pɜːd//; NAmE NAmE//pɜːrd//past participle purred
BrE BrE//pɜːd//; NAmE NAmE//pɜːrd//-ing form purring
BrE BrE//ˈpɜːrɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɜːrɪŋ//Driving