- a person who displays or demands of others pointlessly precise conformity, fussiness about trivialities, or exaggerated propriety, especially in a self-righteous or irritating manner.
Origin of prig1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- Chiefly British. to steal.
- Scot. and North England. to haggle or argue over price.
- British Informal. to beg or entreat; ask a favor.
- Chiefly British. a thief.
Origin of prig2
Examples from the Web for prig
It shows you are not yet the prig you would have folks believe.In the Midst of Alarms
I wish to God talking like this didn't make a fellow feel like a prig!Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
I hope I am not a prig, and, whatever I am or am not, priggishness had no part in my feelings then.Kent Knowles: Quahaug
Joseph C. Lincoln
How came so sweet a blossom to waste her perfumes on such a prig?Scaramouche
But a man who can feel horror at such a thing as this is a prig in religion.Is He Popenjoy?
- a person who is smugly self-righteous and narrow-minded
- another word for steal
- another word for thief
Word Origin and History for prig
"precisian in speech or manners," 1753, originally in reference to theological scruples (1704), of unknown origin; earlier appearances of the same word meaning "dandy, fop" (1670s), "thief" (c.1600; in form prigger recorded from 1560s) could be related, as could thieves' cant prig "a tinker" (1560s).
A p[rig] is wise beyond his years in all the things that do not matter. A p. cracks nuts with a steam hammer: that is, calls in the first principles of morality to decide whether he may, or must, do something of as little importance as drinking a glass of beer. On the whole, one may, perhaps, say that all his different characteristics come from the combination, in varying proportions, of three things--the desire to do his duty, the belief that he knows better than other people, & blindness to the difference in value between different things. ["anonymous essay," quoted in Fowler, 1926]