- 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
Related Wordspoke, wrest, pull, extract, stare, peek, search, tap, gape, snoop, spy, inquire, hunt, intrude, meddle, investigate, gaze, nose, peer, peep
Examples from the Web for pries
And it pries the door to progress on the peace front a little wider.Good For Livni And Good For Peace
Brent E. Sasley
February 20, 2013
He discovers a wart, he pries into a pore; and he calls it knowledge of man.Imaginary Conversations and Poems
Walter Savage Landor
Some people, when they get an idea, it pries the structure apart.The Letters Of Mark Twain, Volume 4, 1886-1900
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
He walks about as it were a public place, and he pries everywhere.Talks To Farmers
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
He who pries into letters for one purpose, may be led to pry into them for another.Ten Years Among the Mail Bags
He that keeks (pries) through a keyhole may see what will vex him.
- (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 pries
"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)).