from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive 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.
- transitive v. To raise, move, or force open with a lever.
- transitive 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.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- 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.)
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A lever; also, leverage.
- transitive v. To raise or move, or attempt to raise or move, with a pry or lever; to prize.
- intransitive 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.
from The 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.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- 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
Middle English prien.
Alteration of prize3.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)
1800, back-formation from prize. ("lever"), construed as a plural noun or as a 3rd person singular verb. (Wiktionary)