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prying

[prahy-ing] /ˈpraɪ ɪŋ/
adjective
1.
that pries; looking or searching curiously.
2.
impertinently or unnecessarily curious or inquisitive.
Origin
1950-1955
1950-55; pry1 + -ing2
Related forms
pryingly, adverb
pryingness, noun
unprying, adjective
Synonyms
1. peeping, peering, peeking. 2. nosy. See curious.

prie

[pree] /pri/
noun, verb (used with object), Scot. and North England
1.
pree.

pry1

[prahy] /praɪ/
verb (used without object), pried, prying.
1.
to inquire impertinently or unnecessarily into something:
to pry into the personal affairs of others.
2.
to look closely or curiously; peer; peep.
noun, plural pries.
3.
an impertinently inquisitive person.
4.
an act of prying.
Origin
1275-1325; Middle English pryen, prien < ?

pry2

[prahy] /praɪ/
verb (used with object), pried, prying.
1.
to move, raise, or open by leverage.
2.
to get, separate, or ferret out with difficulty:
to pry a secret out of someone; We finally pried them away from the TV.
noun, plural pries.
3.
a tool, as a crowbar, for raising, moving, or opening something by leverage.
4.
the leverage exerted.
Origin
1800-10; back formation from prize3, taken as a plural noun or 3rd person singular verb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for prying
  • It is no longer enough to shield data from prying eyes.
  • Even if a bold predator does stop to investigate a rolled-up hedgehog, it's usually unsuccessful at prying the hedgehog open.
  • As the glaciers retreat inland, the ocean may follow, prying them off their bed in a runaway process of collapse.
  • Ideally, this handy trick would keep your data safe from prying eyes.
  • The prying little scholar availed himself of this opportunity to examine the cell for a few minutes at his ease.
  • Her memory failed to inform her on what part of the body the prying and lustful hand of another had touched her.
  • prying away these various pillars of his support will not be easy.
  • As for prying eyes, a few dyes in the water walls will take care of them.
  • Carefully remove and discard top third of each eggshell by tapping around egg with a knife, then gently prying off top.
  • Break shells with a hammer, then remove flesh with screwdriver, prying it out carefully.
British Dictionary definitions for prying

pry1

/praɪ/
verb pries, prying, pried
1.
(intransitive) often foll by into. to make an impertinent or uninvited inquiry (about a private matter, topic, etc)
noun (pl) pries
2.
the act of prying
3.
a person who pries
Word Origin
C14: of unknown origin

pry2

/praɪ/
verb pries, prying, pried
1.
to force open by levering
2.
(US & Canadian) to extract or obtain with difficulty: they had to pry the news out of him
Equivalent term (in Britain and other countries) prise
Word Origin
C14: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for prying

pry

v.

"look inquisitively," c.1300, from prien "to peer in," of unknown origin, perhaps related to late Old English bepriwan "to wink." Related: Pried; prying. As a noun, "act of prying," from 1750; meaning "inquisitive person" is from 1845.

"raise by force," 1823, from a noun meaning "instrument for prying, crowbar;" alteration of prize (as though it were a plural) in obsolete sense of "lever" (c.1300), from Old French prise "a taking hold, grasp" (see prize (n.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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