pry

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English pryen, prien (to look closely, peer into, pry, spy), from Old English *prīwan, *prēowian (to look narrowly, to squint at), attested by Old English beprīwan, beprēwan (to wink). Akin to Old English *prēowot (closing of the eyes), attested only in combination, compare prēowthwīl (blink or twinkling of an eye, moment), Old English princ (a wink). More at prink.

Verb[edit]

pry (third-person singular simple present pries, present participle prying, simple past and past participle pried)

  1. To look where one is not welcome; to be nosey.
  2. To look closely and curiously at.
    • Shakespeare
      Watch thou and wake when others be asleep, / To pry into the secrets of the state.
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

pry

  1. The act of prying
  2. An excessively inquisitive person

Etymology 2[edit]

1800, back-formation from prize. ("lever"), construed as a plural noun or as a 3rd person singular verb.

Noun[edit]

pry (plural pries)

  1. A lever.
  2. Leverage.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

pry (third-person singular simple present pries, present participle prying, simple past and past participle pried)

  1. To use leverage to open or widen. (See also prise and prize.)
Translations[edit]
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