private eye


Example Sentences

unable to get the interest of the police, they hired a private eye to find their missing daughter
Recent Examples on the Web His passion for the field led him from New York City’s used electronics stores to elite university laboratories, through the intense early years of the microprocessor revolution and the tumult of the video game industry, and ultimately to his job today: high-tech private eye. IEEE Spectrum, 8 Oct. 2022 In addition, a host of fictional stock characters swarm the narrative—among them a loathsome private eye, an anarchist zealot and the aforementioned power-mad robber baron who manipulates Rye into snitching on the Wobblies in order to save his beloved brother. Maureen Corrigan, WSJ, 23 Oct. 2020 For writers of hardboiled fiction, the private eye could act as a conduit, an unmoored guide moving freely across social ranks and situations. Ben Croll, Variety, 23 Mar. 2023 No private eye boils harder than this vintage tough guy. Ew Staff,, 17 Mar. 2023 Which iconic private eye will fall next under his revivalist magnifying glass? A.a. Dowd, Chron, 25 Jan. 2023 Not every private eye has avoided legal trouble. William K. Rashbaum, New York Times, 13 Nov. 2022 The two-part documentary, presented by The New York Times, reveals the dirty methods and vast lengths the ruthless former private eye would go to for the Hollywood elite. Carly Thomas, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Mar. 2023 Directed by Neeson's frequent collaborator Neil Jordan, this neo-noir sees Neeson stepping into the role of Phillip Marlowe, the iconic private eye created by Raymond Chandler. Declan Gallagher,, 17 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'private eye.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1938, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of private eye was in 1938

Dictionary Entries Near private eye

Cite this Entry

“Private eye.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Legal Definition

private eye

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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