- to inquire impertinently or unnecessarily into something: to pry into the personal affairs of others.
- to look closely or curiously; peer; peep.
- an impertinently inquisitive person.
- an act of prying.
Origin of pry1
- to move, raise, or open by leverage.
- to get, separate, or ferret out with difficulty: to pry a secret out of someone; We finally pried them away from the TV.
- a tool, as a crowbar, for raising, moving, or opening something by leverage.
- the leverage exerted.
Origin of pry2
- a test, trial, or taste; a test by sampling.
- to try, test, or taste.
- pree the mouth of, Scot. to kiss.
Origin of pree
Examples from the Web for pried
It is delicious, yes, but it is even more delicious when the consumer has pried into its history and process a bit.Why Maya Angelou Loved Sherry, The Drink of Brilliant Renegades
June 15, 2014
The Daily Pic: In 1988, Lynne Cohen showed pictures that pried the lid off reality.High-Flown Photography
November 19, 2012
If those beliefs can be pried loose just a bit, Frost says, the possessions might eventually follow.Hoarding Made a Hit TV Show. Now It’s Becoming a Sickness in the DSM.
May 9, 2012
While the mill was at rest he pried into its internal machinery.Biographical Stories
This they pried up, but it required all their strength to lift and stand it on edge.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
There were such a bewildering lot of them, now that I had pried open my eyes.The Harbor
To prove she was wrong he went and pried the cistern cover off to look, and fell in.Cy Whittaker's Place
Joseph C. Lincoln
This will soften the compound so that the cover can be pried off.The Automobile Storage Battery
O. A. Witte
- (intr often foll by into) to make an impertinent or uninvited inquiry (about a private matter, topic, etc)
- the act of prying
- a person who pries
- to force open by levering
- US and Canadian to extract or obtain with difficultythey had to pry the news out of him
Word Origin and History for pried
"look inquisitively," c.1300, from prien "to peer in," of unknown origin, perhaps related to late Old English bepriwan "to wink." Related: Pried; prying. As a noun, "act of prying," from 1750; meaning "inquisitive person" is from 1845.
"raise by force," 1823, from a noun meaning "instrument for prying, crowbar;" alteration of prize (as though it were a plural) in obsolete sense of "lever" (c.1300), from Old French prise "a taking hold, grasp" (see prize (n.2)).