private eye


Definition of private eye

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Examples of private eye in a Sentence

unable to get the interest of the police, they hired a private eye to find their missing daughter
Recent Examples on the Web Was the victim, an out-of-town private eye, killed by a bear or a man? Tom Nolan, WSJ, "The Best Books of 2020: Mysteries," 10 Dec. 2020 Enjoy those Toronto winters, Rachel—eh? Private investigator: Solve a real case, just like a real private eye! Trey Ellis, The New Yorker, "Be Very Prepared!," 9 Nov. 2020 One former correspondent even called him Kojak, after the 1970s TV private eye. Jeffrey Gettleman, New York Times, "The End of a Beloved Delhi Institution," 30 Oct. 2020 Armstrong is not a cop or a private eye but a pest removal specialist who once served hard time for feeding the hand of a poacher to an alligator. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Carl Hiaasen’s Secret to Writing a Good Trump Novel," 25 Aug. 2020 Warren Beatty plays Joe, an investigative reporter who serves as the era’s version of a private eye, adopting fake personas and getting in a barroom brawl with a cop who calls him a girl for having shaggy hair. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Political Noir for the Age of Assassination," 14 Aug. 2020 Los Angeles, Reckless centers on a private eye called Ethan Reckless who’ll take care of problems … for a price. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips to Launch Graphic Novel Series 'Reckless' (Exclusive)," 6 Aug. 2020 Mickey Rourke is New York private eye Harry Angel, tasked by Robert De Niro's mysterious Louis Cyphre to track down a missing singer. Clark Collis,, "Alan Parker's 5 best movies," 31 July 2020 That's where a private eye working for Kerri discovered the couple. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Casey Kasem's wife, children accused each other of "killing" radio icon," 4 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'private eye.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of private eye

1938, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for private eye

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The first known use of private eye was in 1938

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Statistics for private eye

Last Updated

21 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Private eye.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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private eye


Legal Definition of private eye

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