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prie

[pree]
noun, verb (used with object) Scot. and North England.
  1. pree.
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pry1

[prahy]
verb (used without object), pried, pry·ing.
  1. to inquire impertinently or unnecessarily into something: to pry into the personal affairs of others.
  2. to look closely or curiously; peer; peep.
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noun, plural pries.
  1. an impertinently inquisitive person.
  2. an act of prying.
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Origin of pry1

1275–1325; Middle English pryen, prien < ?

pry2

[prahy]
verb (used with object), pried, pry·ing.
  1. to move, raise, or open by leverage.
  2. to get, separate, or ferret out with difficulty: to pry a secret out of someone; We finally pried them away from the TV.
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noun, plural pries.
  1. a tool, as a crowbar, for raising, moving, or opening something by leverage.
  2. the leverage exerted.
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Origin of pry2

1800–10; back formation from prize3, taken as a plural noun or 3rd person singular verb

pree

or prie

[pree]Scot. and North England
noun
  1. a test, trial, or taste; a test by sampling.
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verb (used with object), preed, pree·ing.
  1. to try, test, or taste.
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Idioms
  1. pree the mouth of, Scot. to kiss.
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Origin of pree

1690–1700; shortened form of preive, Middle English preve (noun), preven (v.) < Old French pr(o)eve, preuver; see prove
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

poke, 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

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for pries

pry1

verb pries, prying or pried
  1. (intr often foll by into) to make an impertinent or uninvited inquiry (about a private matter, topic, etc)
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noun plural pries
  1. the act of prying
  2. a person who pries
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Word Origin

C14: of unknown origin

pry2

verb pries, prying or pried
  1. to force open by levering
  2. US and Canadian to extract or obtain with difficultythey had to pry the news out of him
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Equivalent term (in Britain and other countries): prise

Word Origin

C14: of unknown origin
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

Word Origin and History for pries

pry

v.1

"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.

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pry

v.2

"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)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper