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Pry   /praɪ/   Listen
Pry

verb
(past & past part. pried; pres. part. prying)
1.
To move or force, especially in an effort to get something open.  Synonyms: jimmy, lever, prise, prize.  "Raccoons managed to pry the lid off the garbage pail"
2.
Be nosey.
3.
Search or inquire in a meddlesome way.  Synonyms: horn in, intrude, nose, poke.
4.
Make an uninvited or presumptuous inquiry.  Synonym: prise.



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"Pry" Quotes from Famous Books



... for you to circumvent God?" Mike asked, wondering if he'd have to pry everything out of the ...
— Unwise Child • Gordon Randall Garrett

... he thinks he sees nothing: his own eye stands in his light. He is a fellow commonly guilty of some weaknesses, which he might conceal if he were careless:—now his over-diligence to hide them makes men pry the more. Howsoever he imagines you have found him, and it shall go hard but you must abuse him whether you will or no. Not a word can be spoke, but nips him somewhere; not a jest thrown out, but he will make it hit him. You shall have him go fretting out of company, with some ...
— Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters • John Earle

... Cappuccini, though not a learned body, are, as an order, the best friends of the people. They seem to mingle with them more immediately, as their counsellors and comforters; and to go among them more, when they are sick; and to pry less than some other orders, into the secrets of families, for the purpose of establishing a baleful ascendency over their weaker members; and to be influenced by a less fierce desire to make converts, and once made, to let them go to ruin, soul and body. They may be seen, in their coarse ...
— Pictures from Italy • Charles Dickens

... employ our own men on our second visit to the eaves. A fair remuneration for the salvage of our ship was all that Captain Montbar looked for or expected, and we saw no reason why we should disclose our secret to any beyond those chosen from our own company, nor did Montbar seek to pry into our business, contenting himself with our promise, at the end of the week either to pay him salvage or surrender our ship and ourselves, to be disposed of in such manner as ...
— Adventures in Southern Seas - A Tale of the Sixteenth Century • George Forbes

... intimate; for, whatever he may in reality be, he is a suspicious character, to say the best of him; and although I know that you think you are right in encouraging his visits, other people do not know that; they may judge you harshly. I do not wish to pry into secrets; but you have sought to comfort me by bidding me have perfect confidence in this man? I must ask what knowledge you have of him. How far are you aware of his character and employment? How do you know that ...
— Gascoyne, The Sandal Wood Trader - A Tale of the Pacific • R. M. Ballantyne

... Christian officers in the imperial retinue crossed themselves; upon which the priests declared that the presence of profane men prevented them from discovering the auspices. Diocletian, who was very anxious to pry into futurity, became irritated, and ordered all his Christian officers to sacrifice to the gods under pain of flagellation and dismissal, which many of them underwent. Several oracles which he consulted gave answers unfavorable to the Christians. The ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 1 of 8 • Various

... wrote to you yesterday, and as you will not be very sorry to hear from me again, considering our long separation, I shall fill up this sheet before I go to bed. I have heard something of a quarrel between your spouse and the Prince, I don't wish to pry into family secrets or to hear anything more of the matter, but I can't help regretting on your account that so long an intimacy should be dissolved at the very moment when your husband might have derived some advantage from his R. H.'s friendship. ...
— The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals, Volume 2. • Lord Byron

... Whosoever shall narrowly pry into and thoroughly sift this sort of people, wherewith the world is so pestered, will, as I have done, find, that for the most part, they neither understand others, nor themselves; and that their memories are full ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... away like a culprit, while the wood thrush stands up before you or perches upon a limb, and turns his spotted waistcoat toward you in the most open and trusting manner. In fact, few birds have such good manners as the wood thrush, and few have so much the manner of a Paul Pry and eavesdropper as the catbird. The flight of the wood thrush across the lawn is such a picture of grace and harmony, it is music to the eye. The catbird seems saying, "There, there! I told you so, pretty figure, pretty figure you make!" But the courteous ...
— Under the Maples • John Burroughs

... VII. in less than fifteen days. The other is a disciple of Lenoir; he is the only one who preserves the great traditions of the police. I had asked for an agent of no great account, backed by some official personage, and they send me those past-masters of the business! Ah, Grevin, Fouche wants to pry into my game. That's why I left those fellows dining at the chateau; they may look into everything for all I care; they won't find Louis XVIII. nor ...
— An Historical Mystery • Honore de Balzac

... I feel that there is truth between us. I have suspected that you were not happy in your love life. But I wanted not to pry into locked chambers. Now we can be glad of the bond that lies between us, for I, too, go heart hungry through ...
— Bambi • Marjorie Benton Cooke

... Douglas sprung, And on his neck his daughter hung. The Monarch drank, that happy hour, 775 The sweetest, holiest draught of Power— When it can say, with godlike voice, Arise, sad Virtue, and rejoice! Yet would not James the general eye On Nature's raptures long should pry; 780 He stepped between—"Nay, Douglas, nay, Steal not my proselyte away! The riddle 'tis my right to read, That brought this happy chance to speed. —Yes, Ellen, when disguised I stray 785 In life's more low but happier ...
— Lady of the Lake • Sir Walter Scott

... children laughed, and began to call Polly "Miss Pry," and attention was completely ...
— Good Luck • L. T. Meade

... before, because the place was divine; and advised him to remove a great way off from the flame, and to be contented with what he had seen; and though he were himself a good man, and the offspring of great men, yet that he should not pry any further; and he foretold to him, that he should have glory and honor among men, by the blessing of God upon him. He also commanded him to go away thence with confidence to Egypt, in order to his being the commander and conductor ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... Just as they were about to enter the stable together, Mauprat, who was leading the way, told him to put in his head only. The notary, anxious to show great consideration in the performance of his duties, and not to pry into things too closely, did as he was told. Then Mauprat suddenly pushed the door to and squeezed his neck so violently between it and the wall that the wretched man could not breathe. Deeming him sufficiently punished, Tristan opened ...
— Mauprat • George Sand

... Fortiori: if it be unlawful to rebel against a Heathen Emperor, then much more against a Christian King. The Corollary is this, and every unbiassed sober man will subscribe to it, that since we cannot pry into the secret Decrees of God, for the knowledge of future Events, we ought to rely upon his Providence, for the Succession; without either plunging our present King into necessities, for what may never happen; or refusing our obedience to one hereafter, who in ...
— His Majesties Declaration Defended • John Dryden

... friend's life in the country, of the journey to London, the sudden marriage; but concerning Merton, his occupations and prospects, she could tell him next to nothing, and her secret thoughts about him were not disclosed, in spite of many ingenious little attempts on her companion's part to pry into ...
— Fan • Henry Harford

... stood together for some little time, looking at nothing in particular. And yet it was borne in upon me that friend Barbara rarely thought of me when I was not present with her. I doubt much that this should have given annoyance, for why should we pry into another's thoughts? And yet it rankled in my bosom, and I could but feel that I knew the truth. I should have liked her to think much of me, in sooth: I should have liked her to think of me while ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878. • Various

... some of them are all out of shape, but the people are so used to seeing the buildings lean, almost like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, that they think nothing about it. Once in awhile the road will give way under a heavily loaded truck, but they pry the load out, repair the roadway, and go ahead as though the highway were built upon ...
— Birdseye Views of Far Lands • James T. Nichols

... looked them over. "Huh!" he snorted meaningly. So—he had misled himself with the idea that Lounsbury had come to pry into the matter of the claim. And all the while, underneath, the storekeeper had had ...
— The Plow-Woman • Eleanor Gates

... with a smile: "I'm not going to pry into your letters." In his heart he knew that it was impossible to put the revelation of their secret to Addie into any words that would not be painful to ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. July, 1878. • Various

... our globe's last verge shall go, And view the ocean leaning on the sky, From thence our rolling neighbours we shall know, And on the lunar world securely pry. ...
— The Idea of Progress - An Inquiry Into Its Origin And Growth • J. B. Bury

... between the people of so many different creeds and sects who now inhabited the country; that they must be aware that they never had before been so impartially governed, and that they must continue to obey these their governors, without attempting to pry further into futurity or the will of the gods. Mahadeo performs a part in the great drama of the Ramayana, or the Rape of Sita, and he is the only figure there that is ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... stern, came full aboard without breaking, covered the whole boat, sweeping over her like a cuff from a gigantic hand. The Rector received the shock square on the back, but nothing, apparently, could loosen his iron grip from the tiller, nor pry his feet from the deck against which they were braced. He felt the water get deeper and deeper above his head, and a terrible groaning as if the boat were going to pieces under the strain. Then, as he came to the surface, an object, driven along by the ...
— Mayflower (Flor de mayo) • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... done, but jest trustin' to his power of talk. Which, of course, didn't give him no show. While he was makin' love to the girl she outs with a knife and tries to stick him—nice, pleasant sort she must have been—and Drew, he had to pry the two of ...
— Trailin'! • Max Brand

... pry into our private affairs, you might as well jump on your mule and go home, for you'll not get a word from me. I ought to put the dogs on you, for if all I hear is true you're the worst kind of a traitor." ["And so you are," thought Marcy, closely watching the effect of his words, although he ...
— Marcy The Blockade Runner • Harry Castlemon

... Loveday had raged, but when she had seen these two draw their aprons over their girl's treasures, she had not guessed those possessions aright. What she had imagined in her girl's heart, knowing Primrose's condition, it is not for us to pry at; whatever it was, it was so swift, so born of instinct, as to be holy. But when she saw the crumpled finery, she was suddenly too much of a child again to rate it worth envy. The things that Primrose, all unthinking, stood for, the things of warm hearth and hallowed bed that her house had ...
— The White Riband - A Young Female's Folly • Fryniwyd Tennyson Jesse

... the loft and draw up the ladder. The lower portion of the cabin was in full possession of the besiegers, who demolished everything they could lay their hands on, with much gusto. They did their utmost to pry up the trap door, but were beaten back. Suddenly to the "Wild Geese's" surprise, the lower part of the cabin was abandoned by the Hens. They thought it a ruse to draw them out, so I they lay quiet for some time. There were no windows in the loft. Bye and bye ...
— The Story of Paul Boyton - Voyages on All the Great Rivers of the World • Paul Boyton

... many, but they are infinitely malignant, and the hand of our power should close over them at once. They have formed plots to destroy property, they have entered into conspiracies against the neutrality of the Government, they have sought to pry into every confidential transaction of the Government in order to serve interests alien to our own. It is possible to deal with these things very effectually. I need not suggest the terms in which they may ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... down with all his might until at least half the length of the rail was out of sight. It was poked down right behind the calf's forelegs. Russ thought that if he could pry up the fore-end of the calf, the animal could not ...
— Six Little Bunkers at Cowboy Jack's • Laura Lee Hope

... Snivel have found it convenient to make a trip of pleasure into the country. And though the affair creates some little comment in fashionable society, it would be exceedingly unpopular to pry too deeply into the private affairs of men high in office. We are not encumbered with scrutinizing morality. Being an "unfortunate woman," the law cannot condescend to deal with her case. Indeed, were it brought before a judge, ...
— Justice in the By-Ways - A Tale of Life • F. Colburn Adams

... threatened, carry out the cow-chains. Never mind the horse,—he'll be alive and kicking; and if his legs don't do their duty, let them pay for the roast. Ditto as to the hogs,—let them save their own bacon, or smoke for it. When the roof begins to burn, get a crow-bar and pry away the stone steps; or, if the steps be of wood, procure an axe and chop them up. Next, cut away the wash-boards in the basement story; and if that don't stop the flames, let the chair-boards on the first floor ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... and got back to St. Paul with more money than when I left. I started for home one morning in a schooner. At one the next morning our craft settled down and refused to go farther. The snow was three feet deep; it had been raining steadily for twelve hours, and when the men got out to pry out the runners, they went down, down, far over their knees. The driver and express agent were booted for such occasions, but the two Germans were not. Myself, "these four and no more," were down in the book of fate for a struggle with inertia. It was muscle and mind against matter. To the ...
— Half a Century • Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm

... Paul. "You are always trying to pry into things and find out where they come from. ...
— The Book of Stories for the Storyteller • Fanny E. Coe

... could," replied Ethan, rubbing his head to stimulate his ideas. "I kin cut some rollers, and kinder pry it along." ...
— Hope and Have - or, Fanny Grant Among the Indians, A Story for Young People • Oliver Optic

... was tiresome, but they were still anxious and troubled about his getting on in the world, that was the only thing they cared for now. The old man had become a little childish, but his wife had still all her wits about her, and could spy and pry into every hole and corner, to see that everything was going on ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VIII • Various

... to what they are in themselves, when their whole nature consists barely in the opinions that are had of them. For all sublunary matters are enveloped in such a cloud of obscurity, that the short-sightedness of human understanding, cannot pry through and arrive to any comprehensive knowledge of them: hence the sect of academic philosophers have modestly resolved, that all things being no more than probable, nothing can be known as certain; or if there could, yet would it but interrupt ...
— In Praise of Folly - Illustrated with Many Curious Cuts • Desiderius Erasmus

... covers and reveals by turns a great thirst for ingenuity. Swift's prose is a fair example; in the "Tale of a Tub" and even in "Gulliver" at first sight there seems to appear only an honest and simple directness; but pry beneath the surface statements, or allow yourself to be dazzled by their coruscations of meaning, and you immediately see you are watching a stylistic prestidigitator. The later, more orderly dignity of Dr. Johnson's ...
— An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard (1751) and The Eton College Manuscript • Thomas Gray

... you say I pry and spy! You know it is not true, Anna. I only came to ask you to play with us, and—and how was I to know that you were doing something that you didn't want any one to see? Why don't you want any one to see you? What are you burning?" ...
— Kitty Trenire • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... striking his bare head, he felt more diffidence and perplexity about his next action than was at all usual to him. He knew that he had no inclination to investigate the contents of the box. All the curiosity stirred within him still failed to create the least desire to pry further; but, on the other hand, he could not think it right to leave the matter as it was. A strong feeling of duty commanding him to open the coffin and see that all was right, and a stout aversion to performing this duty, were the main elements of his consciousness during ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... away from the bedside. 'I don't want to pry into your mysteries.' Then she turned to me, and said, with a faint smile on her lips, 'Vilcaroya, come into the dining-room, I have something to say ...
— The Romance of Golden Star ... • George Chetwynd Griffith

... deportment, than we are accustomed to see, I will not say in good, but certainly in general society at home. One of the consequences of good breeding is also a disinclination, positively a distaste, to pry into the private affairs of others. The little specimen to the contrary just named was rather an exception, owing to the character of the individual, and to the indiscretion of the young lady in laughing too loud, and then the affair of a birth so very posthumous ...
— Recollections of Europe • J. Fenimore Cooper

... general upright and honest, therefore unsuspecting and credulous. They are too much engrossed with their own business to pry into the conduct of their neighbours, and too indifferent, in point of disposition, to interest themselves in what they conceive to be foreign to their own concerns. They are wealthy and mercantile, of consequence liberal and adventurous, and so well disposed to take a man's own word for his ...
— The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, Complete • Tobias Smollett

... with all the force he dared use. Something tapped him on the shoulder. He looked around to see the diver beckoning to him. Joe leaned back and saw, by the motions made by Rand's fingers, that the diver was trying to tell him to pry on the valve itself. ...
— Joe Strong, the Boy Fish - or Marvelous Doings in a Big Tank • Vance Barnum

... with the ladies, like whip syllabub, was very pretty, but had nothing in it. This, it seems, was Miss Theky's birthday, upon which I made her my compliments, and wished she might live twice as long a married woman as she had lived a maid. I did not presume to pry into the secret of her age, nor was she forward to disclose it, for this humble reason, lest I should think her wisdom fell short of ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. IX (of X) - America - I • Various

... officers, and consult them on the subject. He exhibited his folly, however, by allowing his people to make an inroad into Unyoro and carry off eighty cows belonging to Kamrasi. To their horror, Kyengo, the chief magician, informed them that the king, being anxious to pry into the future, had resolved to adopt a strong measure with that end in view. This was the sacrifice of a child. The ceremony, which it fell to the lot of Kyengo to perform, is almost too cruel to describe. The magician, having placed a large earthen pot full of water on ...
— Great African Travellers - From Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley • W.H.G. Kingston

... by and the horror of her absence grew into the soul of the lonely woman whose care Betty had been for years, Candace became more and more restive and suspicious. It was these suspicions which sent her on her investigations, and made her uncannily wise to pry open secret locks and cover all trace of her absence after she had ...
— Exit Betty • Grace Livingston Hill

... towards it, not intending to pry into Mr. Wildred's domestic economies, but still bent on unearthing an electric bell if I could do so, when my eyes fell upon ...
— The House by the Lock • C. N. Williamson

... comes to me also that being such a real one—such an out-and-outer—his politeness may be so great that he may look another way, rather than peep and pry to see what the poor workhouse-company woman puts into the plate. And I am right, my daughter, for he looks away, and I lays the ten golden sovereigns in the plate, and he gives a little smile and a little bow, and goes slowly and stumblingly to the upper end, where ...
— Brothers of Pity and Other Tales of Beasts and Men • Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing

... not pry into arrangements I must later be able to deny convincingly with a clear conscience. I can only plead, my dear Blauvelt, the tenseness ...
— The Outbreak of Peace • Horace Brown Fyfe

... we could move the rock by throwing our united weight on a long pry; and many of the boys agreed with him. We felled a spruce tree seven inches in diameter, trimmed it and cut a pry twenty feet long from it. Carrying it to the rock, we set a stone for a fulcrum, and then threw our weight repeatedly on the long end. The rock, which must have weighed ...
— A Busy Year at the Old Squire's • Charles Asbury Stephens

... him that still continued to jar upon them was his phenomenal inquisitiveness. He appeared not to know the meaning of rudeness or impertinence; he sought to pry into everything, and seemed genuinely surprised and puzzled when Sir Reginald somewhat curtly yet courteously excused himself from complying with his request to be shown all over the ship, and have everything explained to him. Yet it was almost impossible to feel angry with him, ...
— With Airship and Submarine - A Tale of Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... the reader, I will say now that it was very naughty to do what I did, an impolite and ungenerous thing to do, on a par with the making up of slumming parties to pry into the secrets of the poor. It was the act of a vandal, and at times—in the gray dawn and on the first day of January—I am sorry about it; but then I should not have had that carved bead armlet, and as that is the tail of my story, I will put it in ...
— A Woman Tenderfoot • Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson

... apartment at once, but tried living in a boarding house, which suited her tolerably well. The two women who kept the boarding house were educated and considerate and had long ago ceased to be inquisitive. Such a variety of people met there that it would have been too much of an undertaking to pry into the secrets of each individual. Such things only interfered with business. Effi, who still remembered the cross-questionings to which the eyes of Mrs. Zwicker had subjected her, was very agreeably impressed with the reserve ...
— The German Classics Of The Nineteenth And Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12 • Various

... attracted by a singular object of mechanism. It seemed so undefined in its application, that he was reminded of the old saying among sailors when they fall in with any indescribable thing at sea, that it was a "fidge-fadge, to pry the sun up with in cloudy weather." It was a large pedestal about six feet high, with a sort of platform at the base for persons to stand upon, supplied with two heavy rings about eight inches apart. ...
— Manuel Pereira • F. C. Adams

... branch with an angry note, and flirts his wings in ill-bred suspicion. The Mavis, or Red Thrush, sneaks and skulks like a culprit, hiding in the densest Alders; the Cat-Bird is a coquette and a flirt, as well as a sort of female Paul Pry; and the Chewink shows his inhospitality by espying your movements like a Japanese. The Wood-Thrush has none of these under-bred traits. He regards me unsuspiciously, or avoids me with a noble reserve,—or, if I am quiet and incurious, graciously hops toward me, as if ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 91, May, 1865 • Various

... awful gloom of the cavernous hall of Arimanes, Byron's "Prince of Earth and Air." The gray figure from most ancient myth is not less real to us than Mefistofeles in "Faust." At least we clearly feel the human daring that feared not to pry into forbidden mysteries and refused the solace of unthinking faith. And it becomes again a question whether the composer had in mind this subjective attitude of the hero or the actual figures and abode of the spirits ...
— Symphonies and Their Meaning; Third Series, Modern Symphonies • Philip H. Goepp

... colonel, "that your preceptor, Judge Reeve, is the brother-in-law of Colonel Burr. If I speak freely of him, it is because I know him, and because you seem curious to pry into these secret histories of national men. It is not to be repeated to offend Judge Reeve, or disturb our relations as friends; for we are such, and have been for ...
— The Memories of Fifty Years • William H. Sparks

... was coming through the woods we happened to stop a minute. Then we see this Frenchy sneaking through the woods. We wondered what was up. Then he vanished. We looked about, some quiet-like, and on tiptoe, and then we saw this shipmate o' your'n pry apart some bushes and head in this way. It looked ...
— The Submarine Boys and the Spies - Dodging the Sharks of the Deep • Victor G. Durham

... about some of the women you knew in the West." An insatiable curiosity to hear the truth about his marriage seized her; but no sooner had she yielded to it than she felt an impulsive regret. What right had she to pry into the hidden ...
— Life and Gabriella - The Story of a Woman's Courage • Ellen Glasgow

... hate to leave here in a rush is that they've got illegal nets out in different places right now, which cost a heap of money, and they hate to let them go. Hand me that strip of iron, please, Davy. Looks to me as if they use this to pry up the trap. There, what ...
— The, Boy Scouts on Sturgeon Island - or Marooned Among the Game-fish Poachers • Herbert Carter

... for people who are not rich to compare notes on these matters with some frank and hearty friend whose means and outgoings are much the same as their own. I do not think of such a case,—but of the prying curiosity of persons who have no right to pry, and who, very generally, while diligently prying into your affairs, take special care not to take you into their confidence. Such people, too, while making a pretence of revealing to you all their secrets, will often tell a very small portion of them, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862 • Various

... always directs its apparatus towards the hollow of a cell. How is it apprised whether the part below is empty or full? Its organs of information are undoubtedly the antennae, which feel the ground. They are two fingers of unparalleled delicacy, which pry into the basement by tapping on the part above it. Then what do those puzzling organs perceive? A smell? Not at all; I always had my doubts of that and now I am certain of the contrary, after what I shall describe in a moment. ...
— The Mason-bees • J. Henri Fabre

... the opportunity he did obeisance before him and after repeatedly calling him "master," and "god" (terms that were already being applied to him by others), he said: "I have done nothing of the sort. And if I obtain a respite, I will pry into everything and both inform against and convict many persons for you." He was released on these conditions, but did not report any one; instead, by advancing different excuses at different times, he lived until Domitian ...
— Dio's Rome, Volume V., Books 61-76 (A.D. 54-211) • Cassius Dio

... valance of the bed, touched her hand. It was a thing to which a riband was attached—an ivory miniature—and she picked it up wondering. She stood up gazing at it, in such bewilderment to find her eyes upon it that she scarce knew what she did. She did not mean to pry; she would not have had the daring so to do if she had possessed the inclination. But the instant her eyes told her what they saw, she started and blushed as she had never blushed before in her tame life. The warm rose mantled her cheeks, and even suffused the neck her chaste ...
— A Lady of Quality • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... doorstep," she said to herself, "lighting a cigarette"; and then, "but he is a long while about it. This is strange." Still as her ear caught no sound of him, Santa sprang up and slipped, guitar in hand, to the outer door—the fence being too tall for her to over-pry, and moreover prickly. She opened the door and peeped out. There was no one down the pathway. There was no one up the pathway, which here, for some fifty or sixty yards, climbed straight, full in view. "And what on earth has become of him?" wondered Santa. "He did not go down—I should ...
— Foe-Farrell • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... left his house, at Louvain; and, intending to be absent for some time, gave the key of his study to his wife, with strict orders that no one should enter it during his absence. The lady herself, strange as it may appear, had no curiosity to pry into her husband's secrets, and never once thought of entering the forbidden room: but a young student, who had been accommodated with an attic in the philosopher's house, burned with a fierce desire to examine the study; hoping, perchance, ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... is to be wise: to see, Not that alone which lies before your feet, But ev'n to pry ...
— The Comedies of Terence • Publius Terentius Afer

... to be near here," said the man. "I'll tell you, I've got just the place for you. The platform's boarded in all round, but I noticed one plank that's loose at one end, right at this nigh corner, and if you just pry it open enough to get in, and then pull the board in place, they'll never ...
— The Great K. & A. Robbery • Paul Liechester Ford

... it only loyal to say: "It's well to remember that in making the attempt you may do more harm than good. 'Where the apple reddens, never pry, lest we lose ...
— The Street Called Straight • Basil King

... their heroism for humanity, too. They meet death face to face, as they pry close into the cause of decay, the secret of morbid growth. There is more danger in certain germs than in lions. Blood-poisoning is to the surgeon a more constant menace than hunger to an Arctic explorer. These students never know what destroyer they ...
— The Tyranny of the Dark • Hamlin Garland

... bugs. I just made that up as a sort of detective disguise. Them chickens wasn't eat by no bugs at all—they was stole. See? A chicken thief come right into the coop and stole them. Do you think any kind of a bug could pry off a padlock?" ...
— The Thin Santa Claus - The Chicken Yard That Was a Christmas Stocking • Ellis Parker Butler

... time! - That Second Calendar, Son of a King, On whom 'twas vehemently enjoined, Pausing at one mysterious door, To pry no closer, but content his soul With his kind Forty. Yet I could not rest For idleness and ungovernable Fate. And the Black Horse, which fed on sesame (That wonder-working word!), Vouchsafed his back to me, and spread his vans, And soaring, soaring on From air to ...
— Poems by William Ernest Henley • William Ernest Henley

... walk, to be used as rests for the feet. Here the men, five on a side, march like a chain-gang, backward and forward; placing one end of the pole in the bed of the stream, resting the other in the hollow of the shoulder near the arm-pit, and bracing themselves by their feet against these bars, they pry the ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 7, No. 39, January, 1861 • Various

... from the violent conduct of her husband) still, I say, striking for personal attractions and accomplishments; and is avowedly of an unspotted character. Let the defendant, therefore, but attempt to pry further than he has done into the private habits of my client, as regards his wife, and I shall not hesitate still further to tear down the beautiful appearance of adopted sanctity, simplicity, and innocence of deportment, with which he ...
— A Voyage Round the World, Vol. I (of ?) • James Holman

... Now, will you be good enough to go—if there is nothing more in my room that you are anxious to pry into? ...
— Soldiers Three • Rudyard Kipling

... can tell you that I had to think pretty fast afore answerin' him. While I was thinkin' he said he had n't played since he was here, an' he was gettin' so wild to play he thought the best way would be to maybe pry the lock open. I see then as I'd got to come out firm an' I said I'd never consent to no young man in my house, spoilin' a good box like that an' maybe a fine flute too, just because he had n't got a little ...
— Susan Clegg and a Man in the House • Anne Warner

... I had no mind to pry openly among the people of these Lowland depths, looking for smugglers. I might, indeed, find them too unexpectedly! Over-curious strangers are not welcomed by the Lowlanders. Many have gone into the ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science September 1930 • Various

... near the completion of his ninth year. It seemed quite an age, but this appearance was contradicted by troublesome facts. He was very small for his age and hopelessly tied to the apron strings of his mother in spite of all his father's efforts to pry him loose. The reason for this failure was that his father lacked the time or the capacity for winning the boy's whole-hearted ...
— The Soul of a Child • Edwin Bjorkman

... night, dreadful as this, they say, My teeming Mother gave me to the world. Whence by those sages who, in knowledge rich, Can pry into futurity, and tell What distant ages will produce of wonder, My days were deem'd to be a hurricane; My early life prov'd their prediction false; Beneath a sky serene my voyage began, But, to this long uninterrupted calm, ...
— The Prince of Parthia - A Tragedy • Thomas Godfrey

... at the portholes, to see what else was inside; but the holes were so small, and it looked so very dark indoors, that I could discover little or nothing; though, when I was very little, I made no doubt, that if I could but once pry open the hull, and break the glass all to pieces, I would infallibly light upon something wonderful, perhaps some gold guineas, of which I have always been in want, ever since I could remember. And often I used to feel a sort of insane ...
— Redburn. His First Voyage • Herman Melville

... pry at the foundations. He must do all that could be done for her eyes. That was her right,—to see, to be free of her prison of darkness, to be restored to the sight of beauty, to unclouded vision of the world and all it contained, no matter what the consequence to him. He would ...
— The Hidden Places • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... have no desire to pry into Mrs. Gerome's affairs, but it is necessary that those who direct or control her estate should be appraised of her condition. It is supposed that her fortune is ample, and her heirs should be informed of ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... house were not yet enough awake to know what had occurred. On their rapid ponies the Indians flashed past between the saloon and Rath's, darted here and there around the corners, flung to earth and ran to pry ...
— Boys' Book of Frontier Fighters • Edwin L. Sabin

... I suppose you mean that she is dying of an incurable disease or has lost her mind. But do not imagine that I care to pry further into that. I never had the least idea that you had—— Oh, I don't know what to believe! . . . Won't ...
— Black Oxen • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... until you have told us a little something about yourself," said Betty, with an inviting smile. "We don't want to pry into your private affairs," she went on, "but we would like to help you. And please don't disappear so mysteriously again. You are the girl who fell out of the branches of ...
— The Outdoor Girls in a Motor Car - The Haunted Mansion of Shadow Valley • Laura Lee Hope

... divine impartiality affected; with none of them is it concerned. God is pleased to try some with ten talents, others with five, others with only one. That "so it seems good in his sight," is all we know about it; and all we need to know. Should we attempt to pry into it, the answer given by our Lord to an officious enquirer respecting another, might be ...
— Sermons on Various Important Subjects • Andrew Lee

... had made a reputation by his more solid qualities. And so to an actor: Hamlet first, and Bob Logic afterwards, if you like; but don't think, as they say poor Liston used to, that people will be ready to allow that you can do anything great with Macbeth's dagger after flourishing about with Paul Pry's umbrella. Do you know, too, that the majority of men look upon all who challenge their attention,—for a while, at least,—as beggars, and nuisances? They always try to get off as cheaply as they can; and the cheapest ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... prejudice, or burst into occasional angry petulance, if she tried to urge him to cut loose from the club and from the constantly-growing influence of Lloyd Avalons who was discerning enough to discover that Lorimers appetite was a possible lever by which he himself might pry himself up into a more stable position in society. In this matter, however, Lloyd Avalons was not quite so unprincipled as he seemed. To his mind, there was nothing so very bad about a little matter of social intoxication. The evil of drink was an ...
— The Dominant Strain • Anna Chapin Ray

... sprung, And on his neck his daughter hung. The Monarch drank, that happy hour, The sweetest, holiest draught of Power,— When it can say with godlike voice, Arise, sad Virtue, and rejoice! Yet would not James the general eye On nature's raptures long should pry; He stepped between—' Nay, Douglas, nay, Steal not my proselyte away! The riddle 'tis my right to read, That brought this happy chance to speed. Yes, Ellen, when disguised I stray In life's more low but happier way, 'Tis ...
— The Lady of the Lake • Sir Walter Scott

... in haste I hie, And round the house and yard I pry. Doors are fast locked—but yet within, Methinks, I hear some stir and din. I peep, with nose close to the ground. Below the door, but small cheer found. My trouble with few words was paid— "'Tis holy time,' the house-folkd said. Heathens! ...
— Heimskringla - The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway • Snorri Sturluson

... regards the past, and Ann's attitude towards her held an element of that loyal, enthusiastic devotion which an older woman not infrequently inspires in one considerably younger than herself—a devotion which accepts things as they are and has no wish to pry into the secrets ...
— The Vision of Desire • Margaret Pedler

... while he remained slanting against the piano, thoughtfully attempting to pry out the strings; then Wye returned from putting Miss Carew and Miss Trent into ...
— Ailsa Paige • Robert W. Chambers

... Lady Nora; "I know that whatever you have to say to my father you have the right to say to him; and I feel such perfect confidence in you that I have no desire to pry into any secrets you may ...
— The Heir of Kilfinnan - A Tale of the Shore and Ocean • W.H.G. Kingston

... tired, and I've been thinking too much. That never suits me.... Thanks, Pam. You've helped me to make up my mind. I like you, Pam," she added dispassionately, "because you're so gentlewomanly. You don't ask questions, or pry. Most ...
— Dangerous Ages • Rose Macaulay

... voice sort of shrill and quivery. "I have one of the logs loose. Now pry here with your picks, everybody. Together, now! It's coming! Once more! There! Now the next one above. Oh, put your weight on it, Mr. Ellins. Get a fresh hold. Try her now. It's giving! Again. Harder. Look out for your toes! And let's ...
— Wilt Thou Torchy • Sewell Ford

... "I don't want to pry into your secrets. Don't make any confessions to me. I have no right to call you to account," he interrupted her, ...
— Dr. Heidenhoff's Process • Edward Bellamy

... the expenses of attending to the register and maintaining local interest in the principles of the party, and in the "great cause" which it supports, wisely communicated with "headquarters." As to what passes there, religious silence should be observed. There is no evidence available, and to pry into such mysteries were profane, but shortly afterwards it is announced that Mr. X., with the highest recommendations, will address the association. The local managers are quietly informed that he is willing to pay all expenses of the local organisation, ...
— Rebuilding Britain - A Survey Of Problems Of Reconstruction After The World War • Alfred Hopkinson

... This permitted me to retain a sort of quasi self-respect for a day or two till my honesty rallied itself, and forced me to realise and to admit that I was, to all intents and purposes, a common Paul Pry, performing a disreputable act for the gratification it gave me. I determined I would at least be honest with myself—and this was my verdict. You will, perhaps, fancy that when I arrived at this decision ...
— The Darrow Enigma • Melvin L. Severy

... report goes unheeded. The camp is roasted out. Strong hands and hand-spikes pry a couple of glowing logs from the front and replace them with two cold, green logs; the camp cools off and the party takes to blankets once more—to turn out again at 5 ...
— Woodcraft • George W. Sears

... I never!" gasped Miss Paulina Pry, which was unquestionably the absolute truth, though not characteristic. "That was Beverly Ashby's brother and her beau!" Eleanor's selection of common nouns was at times decidedly common. "Now, Miss High-and-Mighty, we will see what happens to girls who are so very superior to other ...
— A Dixie School Girl • Gabrielle E. Jackson

... I handed our axe through a break in the wall, and then D'ri cut away some of the baseboards and joined me. We had our meal cooking in a few minutes—our dinner, really, for D'ri said it was near noon. Having eaten, we crawled out of the window, and then D'ri began to pry the ...
— D'Ri and I • Irving Bacheller

... over her a line of foam bubbled out of her blue lips. Her eyes were meaningless. I had frightened her into catalepsy, and I ground my teeth at my ill luck, for she could have told me something of the woman. I took my brandy flask and tried to pry her teeth apart. ...
— Montlivet • Alice Prescott Smith

... suddenly and closed the door behind her. Mr. Weiss, with a bunch of keys in his hand, was trying to find one that fitted her uncle's desk. Higgins, who held an open penknife, seemed to have been attempting to pry the lid. They started as they saw Virginia enter, and it flashed into her mind at once that they had waited to pay their visit until they had seen her go out, and that her return so quickly had ...
— The Governors • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... this fortress ourselves, except that our teacher of handicrafts, the sapper Sabum, sometimes gave us a hint. The first thing was to mark out the plan, then with the aid of levers pry the rocks out of the fields, and by means of a two-wheeled cart convey them to the site chosen, fit them neatly together, stuff the interstices with moss, and finally put on a roof made of pine logs which we felled ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... book is to get you to think and to examine and pry into the past history of Catholicism, and when you have examined the pages of Catholic history and then scrutinize her present, you must know that her future promises no more than her past and present would ...
— Thirty Years In Hell - Or, From Darkness to Light • Bernard Fresenborg

... project of a sudden expose. Right or wrong, Bucks has pup-popular sentiment on his side. Take the Trans-Western territory, for example: at the present speaking these grafters—or their man Guilford; it's all the same—own those people down there body and soul. You couldn't pry Bucks out of their affections with a crowbar—suddenly, I mean. We'll have to work up to it gradually; educate the people ...
— The Grafters • Francis Lynde

... than a couple of days before he began to pry around, and find fault, and grumble at the expense; and I saw there was danger of things relapsing into something like their former condition. So I took him one side, and ...
— The Man Who Stole A Meeting-House - 1878, From "Coupon Bonds" • J. T. Trowbridge

... been known to pry into her religion; and on these Patsy smiled indulgently as one does sometimes on overcurious children. "Sure, I believe in every one—and as for a church, there's not a place that goes by the name—synagogue, meeting-house, or cathedral—that I can't be finding a wee bit of God waiting inside ...
— Seven Miles to Arden • Ruth Sawyer

... old lady of Forfarshire had one of those odd old Caleb Balderston sort of servants, who construed the Dean of St. Patrick more literally. On one occasion, when dispatch was of some importance, knowing his inquiring nature, she called her Scotch Paul Pry to her, opened the note, and read it to him herself, saying, "Now, Andrew, you ken a' aboot it, and needna' stop to open and read it, but just take it at once." Probably most of the notes you are expected to carry might, with equal harmlessness, be communicated ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... not wholly satisfied with what he had heard concerning the new attempt of the mysterious tourist to pry into his affairs. He every little while would spring some new question, which Larry answered to the best of his ability. Evidently Frank was trying to discover the real motives actuating Mr. Marsh when he so suddenly decided to remain around Bloomsbury a few days, ...
— The Airplane Boys among the Clouds - or, Young Aviators in a Wreck • John Luther Langworthy

... efforts in ripping up the rails, they would have succeeded in their attempt to send a flat car loaded with granite down the track, and I must have been cut in two. I tell you, fellows, it was a wonderful sight to see Bruce pry up those rails and send that car, granite and all, into the water. Ah, Browning!" exclaimed Merriwell, his voice betraying his feeling despite his effort to keep it under control, "it prolonged my life when you ...
— Frank Merriwell's Cruise • Burt L. Standish

... don't wish to pry into your affairs; and with your permission I will go home now," ...
— The Yacht Club - or The Young Boat-Builder • Oliver Optic

... men, and the Fat Woman, as soon as she felt something squirming under her, thought that one of the boa constrictors had got loose, and that she had sat down on it. So naturally she fainted away. I came running in with one of my men as soon as I heard the outcries, and after a while we managed to pry up the Fat Woman with a couple of cart-rungs and get the Dwarf out from under her, after which she came to in due time and got over her fright. But the Dwarf was a good deal flattened out by the pressure, and I was afraid at first that his ribs had been stove in. It turned out ...
— The Strand Magazine: Volume VII, Issue 37. January, 1894. - An Illustrated Monthly • Edited by George Newnes

... deep, dark design; thence shot with haste, And o'er the mounds of Paradise he past: By his proud port, he seemed the Prince of Hell; And here he lurks in shades 'till night: Search well Each grove and thicket, pry in every shape, Lest, hid in some, the arch ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Volume 5 (of 18) - Amboyna; The state of Innocence; Aureng-Zebe; All for Love • John Dryden

... among the Palm Beach "regulars" who have overheard him, as a barbarian of the barbarians. People in neighboring chairs at once turn their backs upon him and glance at each other knowingly with raised eyebrows. At this juncture, let us hope, the daughter of the intruder manages to pry him loose; let us hope also that she takes him aside and tells him what everybody ought to know: namely, that Mrs. H.S. Jumpkinson-Jones has been a society leader ever since the "Journal" published the full-page Sunday story about ...
— American Adventures - A Second Trip 'Abroad at home' • Julian Street

... seem to pry," said Staff at length, with elaborate irony; "but in view of the fact that you've felt warranted in calling on me via the fire-escape at one A.M., it doesn't seem unreasonable of me to expect some sort ...
— The Bandbox • Louis Joseph Vance

... out and when he came back to Earth he was lying the wrong way of his Bed with Blue Badges all over him, trying to swallow a Bath Towel, which he afterward discovered was his Tongue. By getting a Leverage under his Head he managed to pry it up and then he sat on the edge of the Bed and called himself Names. He had nothing left over except the Cards given to him by the Brothers from up State somewhere. He had a dim and sneaking Recollection that he had given his address and Phone Number to the whole ...
— People You Know • George Ade

... like, as you like. Perhaps every one knows her own soul best.... It is not for me to pry into yours. You have confessed, and your ...
— Sister Teresa • George Moore

... no wish to pry further into their bloody practices; but Bill seemed bent on it, so I turned and went. We passed rapidly through the bush, being guided in the right direction by the shouts of the savages. Suddenly ...
— The Coral Island - A Tale Of The Pacific Ocean • R. M. Ballantyne

... continued earnestly. "I do not want to pry. I am simply going to suggest a project which perhaps you may turn to your advantage. Marriage has no part in it save that the greatest good fortune that can befall a woman is to marry well, which I hope will be the ultimate result of ...
— The Touchstone of Fortune • Charles Major

... Mrs Maggot and her friends wander to and fro over the common, and never, since the days when Phoenician galleys were moored by St. Michael's Mount, did the eyes of human beings pry so earnestly into these pits and holes. Had tin been their object, they could not have been more eager. Evening came, night drew on apace, and at last the forlorn mother sat down in the centre of a furze bush, ...
— Deep Down, a Tale of the Cornish Mines • R.M. Ballantyne

... regulate our faith and life. Particularly when considering the question how God is disposed toward us individually, we must not take refuge in the secret counsels of God, which reason cannot spy and pry into. According to Luther, all human speculations concerning the hidden God are mere diabolical inspirations, bound to lead away from the saving truth of the Gospel into ...
— Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church • Friedrich Bente

... wherewith the infant was infinitely delighted, as was I, without inquiring at that time into the exquisite mechanism whereby the extraordinary demonstrations were produced. But in the course of little more than a month he was led, by his inquiring turn of mind, to pry into the mystery; and in the pursuit of knowledge—laudable surely in a person of his years, and demonstrative of astonishing sagacity and research—he did take the animal entirely to pieces, and saw the inward parts thereof. The great lady, with all the retinue, ...
— Tales from Blackwood, Volume 7 • Various

... much, to distract them with pride and dissipation; whereas, a little, with a blessing, might have made them happy in both their states of existence." "Well," said Lucifer, "enough! enough! we have more need of arms than words. Sirrah, this hubbub is owing to some great neglect; go back, and pry into every watch, and discover who has been neglectful; and what dangerous characters have been permitted to escape, for there are some evils abroad, that are not known." Away he went, at the word, and ...
— The Sleeping Bard - or, Visions of the World, Death, and Hell • Ellis Wynne

... was engaged in gathering together his professional apparatus, with the evident purpose to decamp. Cho[u]bei did not delay in accosting him. "Ah! The Sensei;[16] Kazuma Uji finds the day too hot to pry into the future. Does the Sensei leave his clients to their fate, or have the clients abandoned the Sensei? Deign to come along with Cho[u]bei. Perhaps he, too, can tell fortunes. At all events the wife has been forewarned; ...
— The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 1 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... Padre at last, in his coarse way stirred by Jose's evident truthfulness. "Well—as you wish—I will not pry into your secrets. But, take a bit of counsel from one who knows: when you reach Simiti, inquire for a man who hates me, ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... you overmuch concerning myself, is it concerning ANOTHER man, rather, that I ought to write—concerning HIS wants, concerning HIS lack of tea to drink (and all the world needs tea)? Has it ever been my custom to pry into other men's mouths, to see what is being put into them? Have I ever been known to offend any one in that respect? No, no, beloved! Why should I desire to insult other folks when they are not molesting ME? Let me give you an ...
— Poor Folk • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... was very ingenuous, "I don't want to pry into anything that's none of my business, but would you mind telling me what this stuff is we're getting here? It isn't anything dangerous, is it? I mean, it isn't one of those ... those radium ores that make a fellow sterile, ...
— Man of Many Minds • E. Everett Evans

... shot across the painter's face. He paused for a moment, and a wild feeling of pity came over him. After all, what right had he to pry into the life of Dorian Gray? If he had done a tithe of what was rumoured about him, how much he must have suffered! Then he straightened himself up, and walked over to the fireplace, and stood there, looking at the burning logs with their ...
— The Picture of Dorian Gray • Oscar Wilde

... want you to tell me, Ned, anything that happens at home—God forbid that I should pry into matters so sacred as relations between a boy and a parent!—but I can see, my boy, that something is wrong. You are not yourself. At first when you came back I thought all was well with you; you were, as was natural, sad and depressed, but I should not wish it otherwise. But of late a change ...
— Through the Fray - A Tale of the Luddite Riots • G. A. Henty

... good terms; for, some time before, when he thought I was away from home, he tried to get into my house. I heard him, and, running up stairs, I put my claws in the two little holes in the lining of the lid, and braced myself so that he could not pry open the lid. He said he only wanted to pay me a visit; but I knew he was hungry, and wanted to ...
— The Nursery, February 1878, Vol. XXIII, No. 2 - A Monthly Magazine for Youngest Readers • Various



Words linked to "Pry" :   extort, jim crow, open up, loose, jemmy, ask, enquire, wrecking bar, loosen, search, open, look, wring from, inquire



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