verb (pries, prying, pried)[no object]
- Inquire too closely into a person’s private affairs: I’m sick of you prying into my personal lifeMore example sentences
inquire impertinently, be inquisitive, be curious, poke around/about, ferret (about/around), spy, be a busybody; eavesdrop, listen in, tap someone's phone, intrude• informal stick/poke one's nose in/into, be nosy, nose, snoop
- Not for the first time he attempts to personalise the issue by prying into my private affairs.
- At the same time, the French media is slowly but surely prying into the private lives of the politicians - slowly but surely exposing more details about what goes on behind the closed doors of the country's rulers.
- She didn't want to feel like she was prying into Keira's private life by going through her cupboard, but she thought that she'd be doing the girl a favour by cleaning it out.
Middle English (in the sense 'peer inquisitively'): of unknown origin.
verb (pries, prying, pried)[with object] chiefly North American
- 1Use force in order to move or open (something) or to separate (something) from something else: using a screwdriver, he pried open the windowMore example sentences
- Walking to the door, I found it locked and ad to sneak in the bathroom window, prying it open with a screwdriver form the garage.
- It's not like a screwdriver, which you at least can use to pry a paint can open.
- Hackers move to pry such systems open and apart.
- 1.1 (pry something out of/from) Obtain something from (someone) with effort or difficulty: I got the loan, though I had to pry it out of himMore example sentences
- More amusingly, a Simon flack briefly attempted to ban me from the campaign after my latest efforts to pry answers out of his blandly evasive candidate.
- A ‘sustaining myth of journalism,’ as Epstein wrote 30 years ago in Commentary about the book All the President's Men, holds that reporters pry secrets out of government.
- I don't think we need to pry answers out of our children.
early 19th century: from the verb prize2, interpreted as pries, third person singular of the present tense.