Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • interjection Used to express a polite request.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A corruption of pray thee; I pray thee.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • interjection A corruption of pray thee; ; generally used without I.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • interjection archaic Short for "I pray thee", i.e. Please.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Alteration of (I) pray thee.]

Examples

  • There's no reason why the rest of the country cannot play along, peppering our conversation with -- as the mayor suggested -- phrases such as "prithee" and "fie!" or, if you're at work,

    CNN.com

  • Faith, it awaits down there someplace; prithee let me glimpse again.

    Thursday Night « Gerry Canavan

  • ‘I prithee go and get me some repast; I care not what, so it be wholesome food.’

    Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Shattered Light

  • Let us hasten and lose no time; prithee, lead the way, old sir.

    Hecuba

  • Again, what interest hadst thou to further by thy zeal? was it to form some marriage, or on the score of kin, or, prithee, why? or was it likely that they would sail hither again and destroy thy country's crops?

    Hecuba

  • Enter our humble cottage; but, prithee, take care that my smoke grimed walls soil not thy robes; now wilt thou offer to the gods

    Electra

  • “And hear ye, Craigie,” said Bucklaw; “your boots and doublet are good enough to drink in, as the man says in the play, but they are somewhat too greasy for tea-table service; prithee, get thyself a little better rigged out, and here is to pay all charges.”

    The Bride of Lammermoor

  • I wish to tell thee and thy children a private matter of my own; prithee, bid thy attendants withdraw from the tent.

    Hecuba

  • As for Hector and his griefs, prithee hear how stands the case; he is dead and gone, but still his fame remains as bravest of the brave, and this was

    The Trojan Women

  • How many, prithee, men of sterling sense, when they see their wives unfaithful, make as though they saw it not?

    Hippolytus

Comments

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  • I pray thee.

    December 18, 2007

  • ".... prithee, pox!

    Give her the hair" -- he spoke, and rapped his box.

    Pope: "The Rape of the Lock"

    December 18, 2007

  • OED mentions John Barth's recent use of the word: 1994 J. BARTH Once upon Time 393 And exactly what were you doing, prithee, in that make-pretend down-county marsh at the make-pretend Place Where Three Ways Meet?

    June 18, 2009