verb (pries, prying, pried)[no object]
- Enquire too inquisitively into a person’s private affairs: I’m sick of you prying into my personal lifeMore example sentences
enquire impertinently into, investigate impertinently, be inquisitive about, be curious about, poke about/around in, ferret (about/around) in, delve into, eavesdrop on, listen in on; mind someone else's business, be a busybody, tap someone's phone; spy on, interfere in, meddle in, intrude on; scrutinize, probe• informal stick/poke one's nose in/into, be nosy (about), nose into, snoop about/around/round inAustralian/New Zealand • informal stickybeakinquisitive, curious, busybody, probing, spying, eavesdropping, impertinent, interfering, meddling, meddlesome, intrusive• rare busy
- 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)chiefly North American
- another term for prise. prying open the door he pried his left leg freeMore example sentences
- My idle hands proceeded to pound, wrench, twist, pry, and yank at anything I could get a hold on.
- My ears strained toward the sirens and my heart pounded as the officers used a crowbar to pry away the door.
- I knocked lightly on the door, hoping to pry Angela out of the restroom.
early 19th century: from the verb prise, interpreted as pries, third person singular of the present tense.