American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To look or inquire closely, curiously, or impertinently: was always prying into the affairs of others.
- n. The act of prying.
- n. An excessively or impertinently inquisitive person.
- v. To raise, move, or force open with a lever.
- v. To obtain with effort or difficulty: pried a confession out of the suspect.
- n. Something, such as a crowbar, that is used to apply leverage.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To look closely or with scrutinizing curiosity; hence, to search curiously or impertinently into any matter; peer; peep.
- To observe; note.
- n. A peeping glance; peering; curious or narrow inspection.
- n. One who pries; a prier; an inquisitive, intrusive person (with allusion to Paul Pry, a fictitious name which, in its turn, was evidently suggested by this sense of the word).
- n. A large lever employed to raise or move heavy substances; a prize.
- To raise or move by means of a pry; prize; bring into a desired position or condition by means of a pry: as, to pry a box open.
- v. To look where one is not welcome; to be nosey.
- v. To look closely and curiously at, peep
- n. The act of prying
- n. An excessively inquisitive person
- n. A lever.
- n. Leverage.
- v. To use leverage to open or widen. (See also prise and prize.)
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Local, U. S. & Eng. A lever; also, leverage.
- v. Local, U. S. & Eng. To raise or move, or attempt to raise or move, with a pry or lever; to prize.
- v. To peep narrowly; to gaze; to inspect closely; to attempt to discover something by a scrutinizing curiosity; -- often implying reproach.
- n. Curious inspection; impertinent peeping.
- v. to move or force, especially in an effort to get something open
- n. a heavy iron lever with one end forged into a wedge
- v. make an uninvited or presumptuous inquiry
- v. be nosey
- v. search or inquire in a meddlesome way
- 1800, back-formation from prize. ("lever"), construed as a plural noun or as a 3rd person singular verb. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English prien.Alteration of prize3. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Oakland police spokeswoman Cynthia Perkins said the protesters were able to get inside the building using what she termed a "pry tool.”
“Brissenden gave no explanation of his long absence, nor did Martin pry into it.”
“They ` re going to probably give him a consolation pry, which is going to be rap album.”
“MARCIANO: But his other job also is to kind of pry into health reform, so he talked to President Clinton about the possible roadblocks to health reform.”
“I can just see the edge and I kind of pry the frame apart and slide it out.”
“We've got to get some kind of pry and pry it up," announced Jack.”
“No; she had not the slightest idea; it was not her business to "pry" and Mrs. Wick closed her bloodless lips with virtuous severity.”
“I know you aren't supposed to use any kind of pry bar etc (not that it would fit anyway).”
“After more than 10 years of New York City - the rent, the intensity, the heat, the cold, and the inability to "pry" friends from their apartments - Rob Barber has had enough.”
“Fritz Schwarz and Frank Church even met with Rockefeller to pry loose the documents being delivered to his commission.”
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