pry

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Pry, PRY, and prý

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /pɹaɪ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪ

Etymology 1[edit]

The verb is inherited from Middle English prien, pryen (to look closely, peer into, pry, spy) [and other forms],[1] from Old English *prīwan, *prēowian (to look narrowly, to squint at), attested by Old English beprīwan, beprēwan (to wink); further etymology unknown,[2] but probably akin to Old English *prēowot (closing of the eyes), attested only in combination – compare prēowthwīl (blink or twinkling of an eye, moment), princ (a wink): see prink.

The noun is derived from the verb.[3]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (intransitive)
    1. To peer closely and curiously, especially at something closed or not public.
    2. (figuratively) To inquire into something that does not concern one; to be nosy; to snoop.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To peer at (something) closely; also, to look into (a matter, etc.) thoroughly.
Conjugation[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

pry (plural pries)

  1. An act of prying; a close and curious look.
    Synonym: prying
    • 1817 March 3, John Keats, “[Poems.] To ****”, in Poems, London: [] [Charles Richards] for C[harles] & J[ames] Ollier, [], OCLC 12163218; reprinted in Poems (The Noel Douglas Replicas), London: Noel Douglas, 1927, OCLC 223237353, stanza 1, page 37:
      With those beauties, scarce discern'd, / Kept with such sweet privacy, / That they seldom meet the eye / Of the little loves that fly / Round about with eager pry.
  2. A person who is very inquisitive or nosy; a busybody, a nosey parker.
    Synonym: (chiefly US) Paul Pry
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

The noun is probably a back-formation from prise, prize (tool for levering, lever), construed as the plural of pry.[4]

The verb is either derived from the noun, or is a back-formation from prise (to force open with a lever), construed as pries, the third-person singular present form of pry.[5]

Noun[edit]

pry (plural pries)

  1. (East Anglia, US) A tool for levering; a crowbar, a lever.
    Synonyms: (both chiefly historical) prise, prize, prybar, pry bar
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. To use leverage to open, raise, or widen (something); to prise or prize.
  2. (figuratively) Usually followed by out (of): to draw out or get (information, etc.) with effort.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ prīen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ pry, v.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “pry1, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  3. ^ † pry, n.3”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2019.
  4. ^ pry, n.4”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020.
  5. ^ pry, v.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “pry2, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

Anagrams[edit]


Yola[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English preien, from Anglo-Norman preier, from Old French proiier, from Vulgar Latin *precō.

Verb[edit]

pry

  1. to pray

References[edit]

  • Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 63