1

pry

verb \ ˈprī \
|Updated on: 22 Jun 2018

Definition of pry

pried; prying
: to look closely or inquisitively; also : to make a nosy or presumptuous inquiry

Origin and Etymology of pry

Middle English prien


2

pry

verb

Definition of pry

pried; prying
1 : to raise, move, or pull apart with a lever : prize
2 : to extract, detach, or open with difficulty
  • pried the secret out of my sister

Origin and Etymology of pry

probably back-formation from 5prize


3

pry

noun

Definition of pry

1 : a tool for prying
2 : leverage

Recent Examples of pry from the Web

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

First Known Use of pry

1823

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

PRY Defined for Kids

1

pry

verb \ ˈprī \

Definition of pry for Students

pried; prying
1 : to raise or open with a lever
2 : to get at with great difficulty
  • I couldn't pry the secret out of him.

2

pry

verb

Definition of pry for Students

pried; prying
: to be nosy about something I don't mean to pry, but who is that girl I saw you with?


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a downward inclination or slope

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a-pile-of-three-dimensional-shapes-in-green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!