- that pries; looking or searching curiously.
- impertinently or unnecessarily curious or inquisitive.
Origin of prying
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- 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 prying
Lobbyists use these trips to lavish bounty on Congressmen, far from prying eyes.Former Lobbyist Jack Abramoff On Congressional Travel Disclosure
July 4, 2014
She was hounded by the prying paparazzi, desperate to label her a partied-out starlet.Taylor Momsen on Female Sexuality and Her Transformation from ‘Gossip Girl’ to Rock Star
March 18, 2014
And yet he comes to loathe the prying eye of the camera on his soaked, exhausted, and shivering men.Polar Explorer vs. Reality TV Crew: Tim Jarvis in the Footsteps of Shackleton
January 12, 2014
The difficulty, and I mean the entire difficulty, is prying the industry away from congressional Republicans.Obama’s Bad Salesmanship
June 25, 2013
These are the departed rich who wanted to spend eternity away from the prying eyes of common citizens.Michael's Foreverland
September 1, 2009
The sides of the wound gaped, and the blade was visible to my prying eyes.Wilfrid Cumbermede
Only, just think what it amounts to—prying into the affairs of a stranger.The Mystery of Murray Davenport
Robert Neilson Stephens
Or because I was dangerous, prying into their smuggling activities.
Is there a single spot which the eye, by any peering or prying, can fathom or exhaust?Modern Painters Volume I (of V)
He had intended to be considerate and had achieved only the appearance of prying.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
- (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 prying
"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)).