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noun
Pry  n.  Curious inspection; impertinent peeping.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Pry" Quotes from Famous Books



... of second-sight, and communications from the spiritual world. It always will be so. The human mind feels instinctively its connection with a higher sphere. Some will ever be impatient of the restraints of our present mode of being, and prone to break away from them; eager to pry into the secrets of the invisible world, willing to venture beyond the bounds of ascertainable knowledge, and, in the pursuit of truth, to aspire where the laws of evidence cannot follow them. A love of the marvellous is inherent to the sense of limitation ...
— Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II • Charles Upham

... pride so jealous and irritable as the pride of territory. As one wave of emigration after another rolls into the vast regions of the west, and our settlements stretch towards the Rocky Mountains, the eager eyes of our pioneers will pry beyond, and they will become impatient of any barrier or impediment in the way of what they consider a grand outlet of our empire. Should any circumstance, therefore, unfortunately occur to disturb the present harmony of the two nations, this ill-adjusted ...
— Astoria - Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains • Washington Irving

... must needs pry closely into the matter, it may be doubted whether there was any real change, after all, in the sordid, worn-out, worthless and ill-jointed substance of the scarecrow, but merely a spectral illusion and a cunning effect of light and shade, so colored and contrived ...
— Short Stories of Various Types • Various

... that subject on the table for some of our night talks; and you can scold us all you like. We have a lot of work to do now, and let's forget the old pry. Now you lie down on that couch where I put you, and Leslie and ...
— Cloudy Jewel • Grace Livingston Hill

... did not care to make it an object for well-meaning detectives to pry into the affairs of indiscreet members of ...
— The Hollow of Her Hand • George Barr McCutcheon

... have one chance at the girl, lettin' her know first what he'd 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 ...
— Trailin'! • Max Brand

... take long walks. There were pleasant nooks even in the neighbourhood of Plaistow marshes in those days. Here and there a graceful elm still clung to the troubled soil. Surrounded on all sides by hideousness, picturesque inns still remained hidden within green walls where, if you were careful not to pry too curiously, you might sit and sip your glass of beer beneath the oak and dream yourself where reeking chimneys and mean streets were not. During such walks my father would talk to me as he would talk to my ...
— Paul Kelver • Jerome Klapka, AKA Jerome K. Jerome

... eyes that peer and spy, Sad eyes that heed not skies nor trees, In dismal nooks he loves to pry, Whose motto evermore is Spes! But ah! the fabled treasure flees; Grown rarer with the fleeting years, In rich men's shelves they take ...
— A Book for All Readers • Ainsworth Rand Spofford

... be frightened," gaily exclaimed Bertheroy, who, despite his careless and abrupt ways, was really very shrewd. "I haven't come to pry into your secrets.... Leave your papers there, I promise you that I ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... field agents all over the United States, and, quietly but efficiently, the FBI went to work. Agents began to probe and pry and poke their noses into the files and data sheets of every mental institution in the fifty states—as far, at any ...
— Brain Twister • Gordon Randall Garrett

... great one! Biggest one in ten years!" said the boy. "He loved it so, that me trying to pry him loose from it was about like working to move the Iriquois Building with a handspike. All he'd promise that first trip was that if I'd come and tell him when I saw you'd got into trouble, he'd see what ...
— Michael O'Halloran • Gene Stratton-Porter

... of the office with a final wave to Boyd. He was thinking about Mike Fueyo, and he stopped his chain of reasoning just long enough to look in at the office of the Agent-in-Charge and ask him to pry loose two tickets for ...
— Out Like a Light • Gordon Randall Garrett

... "You have opened my trunk! How dare you pry into my affairs? General Laguerre!" I protested. "I ...
— Captain Macklin • Richard Harding Davis

... wife's advice and did not attempt to pry into Jimmy's affairs. "He is quite old enough to look after himself," Mrs. Walter said, "and I don't see why you should be private detective for May and Ida. I believe they would try and manage ...
— People of Position • Stanley Portal Hyatt

... was Forrest's reply from the door. "We're on business. Besides, you can't pry Rita from ...
— The Little Lady of the Big House • Jack London

... Andujar, the lights of our great acetylene lamps (lit before the sky turned from opal to amethyst) prying into dark doorways and windows as Roentgen rays pry through flesh ...
— The Car of Destiny • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... upon our globe's last verge shall go, And see the ocean leaning on the sky; From thence our rolling neighbours we shall know, And on the lunar world securely pry."' ...
— Life of Johnson - Abridged and Edited, with an Introduction by Charles Grosvenor Osgood • James Boswell

... deny it? You keep up a confidential correspondence together, you and the count; I am quite aware of that. Come, you may confess it, for I have no wish to pry ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... Prince. "This letter, which the disposition of Almighty Providence has so strangely delivered into my hands, was addressed to no less a person than the criminal himself, the infamous President of the Suicide Club. Seek to pry no further in these perilous affairs, but content yourself with your own miraculous escape, and leave this house at once. I have pressing affairs, and must arrange at once about this poor clay, which was so lately a gallant and ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 4 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... rasped Lander, "or I'll knock your block off! If you utter another peep during this game, I'll button up both your blinkers so tight it'll take a doctor to pry 'em ...
— Rival Pitchers of Oakdale • Morgan Scott

... instruction, and consequently possess it fully, is forgetting three fundamental facts: first, that it is quite inconceivable that anyone, having before him the splendid fields for investigation which true clairvoyance opens up, could ever have the slightest wish to pry into the trumpery little secrets of any individual man; secondly, that even if by some impossible chance our clairvoyant had such indecent curiosity about matters of petty gossip, there is, after all, such a thing as the honour of a gentleman, which, on that plane as on this, would of course ...
— Clairvoyance • Charles Webster Leadbeater

... to wish to pry into futurity. We are impatient to penetrate the clouds that envelope us, and to discern the distant course which Providence has prescribed for our feet. Curiosity combines with self-interest to urge this inquiry; but the reproof ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I • Francis Augustus Cox

... Even to Lola and her biologists. Everybody's full of joy and gratitude and stuff—as well as information. And we managed to pry ourselves loose without waking you two trumpet-of-doom sleepers up. So we're ready to jump again. I wonder where in hell we'll wind ...
— The Galaxy Primes • Edward Elmer Smith

... combatants were frankly discussed; but their attitude to each other after the duel was criticised lightly and with caution. It was irreconcilable, and that was to be regretted. After all, they knew best what the care of their honour dictated. It was not a matter for their comrades to pry into overmuch. As to the origin of the quarrel, the general impression was that it dated from the time they were holding garrison in Strasburg. Only the musical surgeon shook his head at that. It went much farther back, ...
— The Point Of Honor - A Military Tale • Joseph Conrad

... crushed out. They are not 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

... 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 exquisitely chosen ...
— An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard (1751) and The Eton College Manuscript • Thomas Gray

... you let me alone, boy? Into what have you come here to pry? You are odious—yes, odious!" She stamped her foot. "And I thought last night, that you were in trouble. Was I not kind to you for that, and that only?" She broke off pitifully. "Oh, Harry, I ...
— The Adventures of Harry Revel • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... to make some amends, to somewhat mitigate the blow - when it's so easy to do it. See I shall leave you absolutely free. I shall not question you, not pry, not even make an allusion. But do you then spare our family too. That is all I ask. Spare our children ...
— The Bride of Dreams • Frederik van Eeden

... believe in it, but in the general sentiment of the community, to a larger extent than most good people seem to be aware of. It needn't be true, to do this, any more than Homeopathy need, to do its work. The Spiritualists have some pretty strong instincts to pry over, which no doubt have been roughly handled by theologians at different times. And the Nemesis of the pulpit comes, in a shape it little thought of, beginning with the snap of a toe-joint, and ending with such a crack of old beliefs that the roar of it is heard in all the ministers' ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 15, January, 1859 • Various

... 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. It was surmounted by an apex, ...
— Manuel Pereira • F. C. Adams

... I know, tell lies, If you know what you are speaking.— Truth is shy, and from us flies; Unless diligently seeking Into every word we pry, ...
— Books for Children - The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 3 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... I guess," mumbled Boltwood, pouching the gold piece. "I don't pry into things that ain't my business. I'll row ...
— Owen Clancy's Happy Trail - or, The Motor Wizard in California • Burt L. Standish

... lack of knives and forks! On such a walk, how easy to pick one's self up after lunch, throw the dinner-table away, and trot on to the next village. As a girl passes from town to town, how eager she is to note their characteristics, to look at the people curiously, and to pry into their shop-windows. How much she learns about Nature! Is the sky so blue at home? Are the wild flowers so abundant? Is the grass so soft and green? Oh, girls! try to make yourselves at home with Nature, and walk out among her attractions. In all your observations of Nature do not forget ...
— Hold Up Your Heads, Girls! • Annie H. Ryder

... knock down the barriers to growth, we must redouble our efforts for freer and fairer trade. We have already taken actions to counter unfair trading practices and to pry open closed foreign markets. We will continue to do so. We will also oppose legislation touted as providing protection that in reality pits one American worker against another, one industry against another, one community against another, and that ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... she looks at you as you bid her goodnight and says it was kind of you to see her home, and puts out her hand to shake you, you feel as though there was only one girl in the whole world, and when you start to go home you have to blow your fingers to keep them warm, and pry your fingers apart, but I don't like to scale 'em and clean 'em, but when they are fried in butter with bread crumbs, and you have baked potatoes, gosh, say, but you can't sleep all night from thinking maybe the next party you go to ...
— Peck's Uncle Ike and The Red Headed Boy - 1899 • George W. Peck

... course, daily, but he was not sneak enough to pry into its secrets, even had the chance presented itself. Sometimes she tossed the letters away carelessly, but he observed that there were ...
— The Purple Parasol • George Barr McCutcheon

... was about to grant the Netherland, envoys an audience, the wrath of ambassador Mendoza was kindled. That magniloquent Spaniard instantly claimed an interview with the King, before whom, according to the statement of his colleagues, doing their best to pry into these secrets, he blustered and bounced, and was more fantastical in his insolence than even Spanish envoy had ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... to pry out Grant's policies, and with Fisk as an interlocutor, Gould personally attempted to draw out the President. To their consternation they found that Grant was not disposed to favor their arguments. The ...
— Great Fortunes from Railroads • Gustavus Myers

... the smaller of the two Assassins pulled out a long knife from his pocket, and tried to pry Pinocchio's ...
— The Adventures of Pinocchio • C. Collodi—Pseudonym of Carlo Lorenzini

... thoughtfully, "while she was unconscious it took me ten minutes to pry open her fingers and disengage a rather heavy dog-whip from her clutch.... And there was some evidences of blood on the lash and ...
— The Common Law • Robert W. Chambers

... vinegar-cruet in the other, having just broken away from the occupation of attending to the castors, and scolding her little black boy meantime. Wood-house! cried I, which way to it? Run for God's sake, and fetch something to pry open the door —the axe! —the axe! he's had a stroke; depend upon it! —and so saying I was unmethodically rushing up stairs again empty-handed, when Mrs. Hussey interposed the mustard-pot and vinegar-cruet, and the entire castor of her countenance. ...
— Moby-Dick • Melville

... Winds come, the Four Winds go, (Ye wise o' the world, oh, listen ye!), Whispering, whistling what they know, Wise, since wandering made them so (Ye stay-at-homes, oh, listen ye!). Ever they seek and sift and pry— Listening here, and hurrying by— Restless, ceaseless—know ye why? (Then, wise o' the world, oh, listen ye!) The goal of the search of the hurrying wind Is the key to the maze of a woman's mind, (And there is no ...
— Winds of the World • Talbot Mundy

... mob downtown, boys; and it may do mischief if it hangs together until dark. If we can pry 'em apart, they'll go home ...
— Otherwise Phyllis • Meredith Nicholson

... self-control, he had concealed this unpleasant fact from the Canon, and had talked quite agreeably during their little walk between the two houses. The sound of that dreadful cry still seemed to shudder through his flesh, but it was not for him to pry into the private lives of others, even of those whom he knew intimately, and had a great regard for. He hoped all was well with his dear young friends, There might be some quite simple explanation of that cry. He fervently hoped there was. In any case ...
— In the Wilderness • Robert Hichens

... is the hub of the solar system. You couldn't pry that out of a Boston man, if you had the tire of all creation ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 6, April, 1858 • Various

... slowly. The night on the Ridge came back to him! Calamity's fear when the old frontiersman arrived; Bat's threat to expose something; Eleanor's perturbed letter; the father's half furtive defiant existence. He was too proud to ask more than the other cared to tell, too loyal to pry into any part of her life that she could not willingly share with him. He sat gazing into the mystic afterglow of the Desert, a flame of fire over a lake of light. It was as the old man had said, he had asked her to strengthen his resolution; and he ...
— The Freebooters of the Wilderness • Agnes C. Laut

... 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 ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. July, 1878. • Various

... quickly and stood in front of him. There was a spot of color on both her cheeks, and her hands were clasped together. "Gilbert, let's both go there. Let's get away from all these people for a time. I won't ask you any questions or try and pry into what's happened to you. I'll be very quiet and help you to ...
— Who Cares? • Cosmo Hamilton

... inn-keeper. "What's it to do with you?" she cried. "Mind your own business!" The inn-keeper passed on without taking any notice of her, and entered the house. Most likely he wanted to see Martha; she followed on his heels. "You can save yourself the trouble, there's nothing for you to pry into!" she screamed. Shortly afterwards he came out again, with the woman still scolding at his heels, and ...
— Ditte: Girl Alive! • Martin Andersen Nexo

... Critical as my position was, I could not pry deeper into Alison West's affairs. If she had got into the hands of adventurers, as Sullivan and his sister appeared to have been, she was safely away from them again. But something of the situation in the car Ontario was forming itself in my mind: the incident at ...
— The Man in Lower Ten • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... mother Earth, by the bright sky above thee, I love thee, O, I love thee! So let me leave thee never, But cling to thee for ever, And hover round thy mountains, And flutter round thy fountains, And pry into thy roses fresh and red; And blush in all thy blushes, And flush in all thy flushes, And watch when thou art sleeping, And weep when thou art weeping, And be carried with thy motion, As the rivers and the ocean, ...
— Nature Mysticism • J. Edward Mercer

... fins, and recovered a grace and power of motion in water which are not equalled by the greyhound on land. Why have the seals hung back? I believe I know the secret. It is the baby! No one knows where the porpoise and the whale cradle their newborn infants—it is so difficult to pry into the domestic ways of these sea-people—but evidently the seals cannot manage it, so they are forced to return to the land when the cares of maternity are ...
— Concerning Animals and Other Matters • E.H. Aitken, (AKA Edward Hamilton)

... Leicester, though exempt from the general control of superstition, was not in this respect superior to his time, but, on the contrary, was remarkable for the encouragement which he gave to the professors of this pretended science. Indeed, the wish to pry into futurity, so general among the human race, is peculiarly to be found amongst those who trade in state mysteries and the dangerous intrigues and cabals of courts. With heedful precaution to see that it had not been opened, or its locks tampered with, Leicester ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... Surveyor's Dialogue in 1608, which is in the form of a conversation between a farmer and a surveyor, the former at the outset telling the latter that men of his profession were then very unpopular because 'you pry into men's titles and estates, and oftentimes you are the cause that men lose their land, and customs are altered, broken, and sometimes perverted by your means. And above all, you look into the values of men's lands, ...
— A Short History of English Agriculture • W. H. R. Curtler

... 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 ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... can climb in at windows for a ball, can go the same way for money, and get it easy enough when they've only to pry ...
— Under the Lilacs • Louisa May Alcott

... 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, stopped short as she encountered ...
— Tales from Blackwood, Volume 7 • Various

... to be honest, honorable, competent, healthy, and personally clean in habits and dress, and she should be tactful, obliging, and she should attend to her own affairs strictly. She should not be a gossip; she should not shirk her work or pry into family affairs that do not concern her; and she should not drag into the conversation her ...
— The Eugenic Marriage, Volume I. (of IV.) - A Personal Guide to the New Science of Better Living and Better Babies • W. Grant Hague, M.D.

... I had had supper and washed myself, I said to th' missus, 'There's a peep-show i' Tithebarn Street, and if you'll wash Bobby's face I'll tek him there; its nobbut a penny.' You know it was one o' them shows where they hev pictures behind a piece o' calico, Paul Pry with his umbrella, Daniel i' th' lions' den, ducks swimming across a river, a giantess who was a man shaved and dressed in women's clothes, a dog wi' five legs, and a stuffed mermaid—just what little lads would like. There was a man, besides, who played on a flute, and another ...
— The Book of the Bush • George Dunderdale

... wanted to ask old Mother Smith if she ever heard the name Fay Larkin. But I thought better of it. If there's a girl here or at Stonebridge of that name we'll learn it. If there's mystery we'd better go slow. Mormons are hell on secret and mystery, and to pry into their affairs is to queer yourself. My advice is—just be as nice as you can be, and let ...
— The Rainbow Trail • Zane Grey

... never occurred to you that you may keep the ten commandments strictly, and yet be a most objectionable person? You might smoke, drink, listen at doors, repeat private conversations, open other people's letters, pry amongst their papers, be vulgar and offensive in conversation, and indecent in dress—altogether detestable, if your code of morality were confined to the ten commandments. But why will you talk like this, Angelica? Why will you be so ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... family are wont to do, but there comes an awesome, shivering fear that it is true in some degree. How many times she has seen Gertrude check Marcia when Floyd was under discussion. She has never tried to pry into family secrets, but she knows there have been many about her; a certain kind of knowledge that all have shared, a something against her. She has fancied that she made some advances in living down the dislike; Mrs. Grandon has been kinder of late, and Marcia, since her marriage, quite ...
— Floyd Grandon's Honor • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... advantages of a good living; or he may have nothing else in particular to do; or he may simply desire to rouse the impertinent curiosity of all the indolent quidnuncs of his acquaintance, without the remotest intention of ever gratifying their underbred Paul Pry proclivities.' ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... 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 you ever ...
— Black Oxen • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... 'master, I could sift grain from husk here and there, but let it be as 'tis. What odds? I have gone against his plans; to my misfortun'. I can't help it; I should do the like to-morrow. As to character, them gentlefolks will search and search, and pry and pry, and have it as free from spot or speck in us, afore they'll help us to a dry good word!— Well! I hope they don't lose good opinion as easy as we do, or their lives is strict indeed, and hardly worth the keeping. For myself, master, ...
— The Chimes • Charles Dickens

... dogs, a farm-yard, or a full band, with equal facility. He would also give you Mr. Keeley, in "Betsy Baker;" Mr. Paul Bedford, as "I believe you my bo-o-oy"; Mr. Buckstone, as Cousin Joe, and "Box and Cox;" or Mr. Wright, as Paul Pry, or Mr. Felix Fluffy. Besides the comedians, Mr. Footelights would also give you the leading tragedians, and would favour you (through his nose) with the popular burlesque imitation of Mr. Charles Kean, as Hablet. ...
— The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green • Cuthbert Bede

... endeavours to obtain a clear view of the ideas he would consider, separating from them all that dress and incumbrance of words which so much contribute to blind the judgment and divide the attention. In vain do we extend our view into the heavens and pry into the entrails of the earth, in vain do we consult the writings of learned men and trace the dark footsteps of antiquity—we need only draw the curtain of words, to hold the fairest tree ...
— A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge • George Berkeley

... no need to yell so loud. You know I've got back my hearing. What want ye with me? I'm sure I have no wish to pry into the secrets of this young man or yourself. What ...
— The Hot Swamp • R.M. Ballantyne

... London the prince was a regular attendant at the theatres, and many were the dramatic criticisms that he sent to his 'friend' at Muskau. He saw Liston in the hundred and second representation of Paul Pry, and at Drury Lane found, to his amazement that Braham, whom he remembered as an elderly man in 1814, was still first favourite. 'He is the genuine representative of the English style of singing,' writes our critic, 'and in popular songs is the adored idol of the public. One cannot deny ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... come to-day on a visit to grandmama. She is telling them they have grown very much lately. But Miss Pry ought not to ...
— Child-Land - Picture-Pages for the Little Ones • Oscar Pletsch

... of perfidy are disclosed as few imagined to exist. During the last two years, while our Southern sky has been aglow with the red light of the slave-masters' insurrection, few of us could probe and pry about among details of lesser villanies than those pertinent to the day. And so it is fortunate that M. Cochin now comes to address a people instinctively grasping at the principle which may give them peace, and to offer them his calm and ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 65, March, 1863 • Various

... other deities are powerful, they all serve and obey him as children do their father. Frigga is his wife. She foresees the destinies of men, but never reveals what is to come. For thus it is said that Odin himself told Loki, 'Senseless Loki, why wilt thou pry into futurity, Frigga alone knoweth the destinies of all, though ...
— The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson • Saemund Sigfusson and Snorre Sturleson

... replied her aunt. "I'm a great believer in married women paying attention at home before they begin to pry into their neighbors' affairs. It's a good idea. Most ...
— The Rejuvenation of Aunt Mary • Anne Warner

... to the other's secret, they were respectively puzzled at what each revealed, and awaited new knowledge of each other's character and mood without attempting to pry ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... learned at the expense of the poor Unitarians at York. So they went into the house, and presently arrived another chaise, but ere I could make any further observations, the porter of the out-of-the-way house came up to me, asking what I was stopping there for? bidding me go away, and not pry into other people's business. 'Pretty business,' said I to him, 'that is being transacted in a place like this,' and then I was going to say something uncivil, but he went to attend to the new-comers, and I took myself away on my ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... look some food or succour there to get, But loseth life, so much is she mistaken. The foolish fly that fleeth to the flame With ceaseless hovering and with restless flight, Is burned straight to ashes in the same, And finds her death where was her most delight The proud aspiring boy that needs would pry Into the secrets of the highest seat, Had some conceit to gain content thereby, Or else his folly sure was wondrous great. These did through folly perish all and die: And though I know it, even ...
— Elizabethan Sonnet Cycles - Idea, by Michael Drayton; Fidessa, by Bartholomew Griffin; Chloris, by William Smith • Michael Drayton, Bartholomew Griffin, and William Smith

... keeping them undiscovered, makes even the conversation of men of wit and learning tedious to you, what anxious hours must I spend, who am condemned by custom to the conversation of women, whose natural curiosity leads them to pry into all my thoughts, and whose envy can never suffer Horatio's heart to be possessed by any one, without forcing them into malicious designs against the person who is so happy as to possess it! But, indeed, if ever envy can possibly have any excuse, or even alleviation, it is in this case, ...
— Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 • Henry Fielding

... 's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage; Then lend the eye a terrible aspect; Let it pry through the portage of the head Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it As fearfully as doth a galled rock O'er hang and jutty his confounded base, Swilled with the ...
— McGuffey's Sixth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... continued. The Princess de Lieven, he said, was a dangerous woman; there was reason to think that she would make attempts to pry into what did not concern her, let Victoria beware. "A rule which I cannot sufficiently recommend is NEVER TO PERMIT people to speak on subjects concerning yourself or your affairs, without you having yourself ...
— Queen Victoria • Lytton Strachey

... thought of playing the traitor—you mustn't think that of him. But it isn't in his nature to facilitate things. In the present crisis he will feel that he is personally responsible for the expenditure of five million dollars. He will examine and investigate, and probe and pry, and will want to worry through every pen-scratch which has ...
— Empire Builders • Francis Lynde

... vagabonds! We may not always wish to follow in their footsteps, but we like to keep near them and pry into their careless, happy lives. When the Bohemians enter a pot-house we are too virtuous, presumably, to go in likewise, but we stand without, to get a tempting whiff of hot negus and a snatch of some genial jest or tuneful song. Then, if ...
— The Palmy Days of Nance Oldfield • Edward Robins

... a good reason. For, if you should have sought to pry, it might have aroused suspicions and there is no telling ...
— The Boy Allies at Jutland • Robert L. Drake

... spear, gore, spit, stab, pink, puncture, lance, stick, prick, riddle, punch; stave in. cut a passage through; make way for, make room for. uncover, unclose, unrip^; lay open, cut open, rip open, throw open, pop open, blow open, pry open, tear open, pull open. Adj. open; perforated &c v.; perforate; wide open, ajar, unclosed, unstopped; oscitant^, gaping, yawning; patent. tubular, cannular^, fistulous; pervious, permeable; foraminous^; vesicular, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... abominable manners and poisoning their nascent minds against him, and he has no redress. She may neglect her home, gossip and lounge about all day, put impossible food upon his table, steal his small change, pry into his private papers, hand over his home to the Periplaneta americana, accuse him falsely of preposterous adulteries, affront his friends, and lie about him to the neighbours—and he can do nothing. She may compromise his honour by indecent dressing, write letters to moving-picture ...
— In Defense of Women • H. L. Mencken

... tried to reach it, one bracing the other and helping him pry his body up from the implacable pull of Jupiter's uninsulated mass. The top Rogan reached a little higher. The flesh sucker-disk that served as a hand almost grasped the lever, but failed by ...
— The Red Hell of Jupiter • Paul Ernst

... Dirk took time to pry off a fresh chew of tobacco before he replied. "You mean Thunder Pass? That there crosses over into the Black Rim country. Yeah—There's a big wide range country over there, but we don't run any stock on it. Burroback Valley's ...
— Cow-Country • B. M. Bower

... the light," said the captain. "Pry it open a bit more, Harris, and let me have a good, square look at it. I don't believe there's more than one box, at that—which wouldn't be no great trouble ...
— The Devil's Admiral • Frederick Ferdinand Moore

... being in this house and prying about. I'm not sure our folks would approve of it. Only the old thing has been left so long, and there's such a mystery about it, and we're not harming or disturbing anything, that perhaps it isn't so dreadful. Anyhow, we must be very careful not to pry into anything we ought not touch. Perhaps then it will be all right." Cynthia agreed to all this without hesitation. She, indeed, had even stronger feelings than Joyce on the subject of their trespassing, but the joy of ...
— The Boarded-Up House • Augusta Huiell Seaman

... Pry in 1884. Two chillun was born. The girl is living and the boy might be, but I don't know. My daughter works ...
— Slave Narratives, Oklahoma - A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From - Interviews with Former Slaves • Various

... not the worst of it, madam. At the asylum I was treated most brutally by a good-for-nothing physician, who did his best to pry into ...
— Young Captain Jack - The Son of a Soldier • Horatio Alger and Arthur M. Winfield

... she could not pry into the lad's private affairs. Her brother retorted that a youth, in his physically helpless condition, who was really ingenuous, would have poured out his life's history into the ears of so sympathetic a woman, and have bored her to tears with the inner ...
— The Fortunate Youth • William J. Locke

... "Mrs. Marshall-Smith, you're going to stay here, of course, to look at Austin's lovely view! Think of his having hidden that view away from us all till now! I want to go through the house later on, and without Austin, so I can linger and pry if I like! I want to look at every single thing. It's lovely—the completest Yankee setting! It looks as though we all ought to have on clean gingham aprons and wear steel-rimmed spectacles. No, Austin, don't ...
— The Bent Twig • Dorothy Canfield

... started; for he had rather muttered than spoken the preceding sentence aloud. Casting a swift and searching glance around him, as it might be to assure himself that no impertinent listener had found means to pry into the mysteries of a mind he seldom saw fit to lay open to the free examination of his associates, he regained his self-possession on the instant, and resumed the discourse with a manner as undisturbed as if it had ...
— The Red Rover • James Fenimore Cooper

... brothers, twins, who were very much about town in Theodore Hook's time, took pains, by dressing alike, to deceive their friends as to their identity. Tom Hill (the original of Paul Pry) was expatiating upon these modern Dromios, at which Hook grew impatient. "Well," said Hill, "you will admit they resemble each other wonderfully: they are as like as two peas."—"They are," retorted Hook, ...
— The Jest Book - The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings • Mark Lemon

... horse, and went, like a sheep that is led to the slaughter, to follow a boar. In the meanwhile seven wicked women, with whom the Prince had been acquainted, began to grow jealous; and being curious to pry into the secret, they sent for a mason, and for a good sum of money got him to make an underground passage from their house into the Prince's chamber. Then these cunning jades went through the passage in order to explore. But finding nothing, they opened the window; and when they saw ...
— Stories from Pentamerone • Giambattista Basile

... the rose to her. "Yes, I know that fellow. I was in the Kootenay when he lost his arm, torn out all bloody right from the shoulder socket; had to pry the cogs up to get him out. They collected a purse of a thousand for him; but he wouldn't take a cent: handed it over to the hospital. Something in that fellow bigger than self kind of popped out ...
— The Freebooters of the Wilderness • Agnes C. Laut

... of the foregoing quotation occurs an anecdote of Rabbi Elisha ben Abuyah which is too racy to let pass, and too characteristic to need note or comment. One day Elisha ben Abuyah was privileged to pry into Paradise, where he saw the recording angel Metatron on a seat registering the merits of the holy of Israel. Struck with astonishment at the sight, he exclaimed, "Is it not laid down that there is no sitting in heaven, no shortsightedness or fatigue?" ...
— Hebraic Literature; Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim and - Kabbala • Various

... blighter," was Van Horn's greeting to the old chief, as the dandy, with a pry of his steering-paddle against the side of the canoe and part under its bottom, brought the dug-out broadside-on to the Arangi so that the sides ...
— Jerry of the Islands • Jack London

... was clever enough to bridle her indignation. He followed up his advantage swiftly, leaving her no time to pry for a ...
— Simon Dale • Anthony Hope

... the old Siward house by old Siward servants, drunk as his forefathers? It was none of Fleetwood's business. It was none of the servants' business. It was nobody's business except his own. Who the devil were all these people, to pry into his affairs and doctor him and dose him and form secret leagues to disobey him, and hide decanters from him? Why should anybody have the impertinence to meddle with him? Of what concern to them were his vices ...
— The Fighting Chance • Robert W. Chambers

... England stood afar off, and only assisted Turkey with her good counsel. The same authorities now see Russia in possession, while England, who has not assisted during the bloody struggle, appears upon the scene as a political Paul Pry, and intrudes upon the mysteries that surround Pachas, Governors, and various functionaries, who, from the highest to the lowest ...
— Cyprus, as I Saw it in 1879 • Sir Samuel W. Baker

... 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

... forest eaves, Shingled tight with greenest leaves, Sweep the scented meadow-sedge, Let us snoop along the edge; Let us pry in hidden nooks, Laden with our nature books, Scaring birds with happy cries, Chloroforming butterflies, Rooting up each woodland plant, Pinning beetle, fly, and ant, So we may identify What we've ...
— In Search of the Unknown • Robert W. Chambers

... shoulder of one side approach each other, and so lessen the space within the abdomen on that side. On the other side a support has been removed for the contents of the abdomen, and they sag down until they pry the uterus out of place and press it over towards the side where there is less pressure. The broad ligament on one side is stretched from use and on the other side shortened from disuse, and so ...
— What a Young Woman Ought to Know • Mary Wood-Allen

... the basement of his father's house (where he took the precaution to label all his bottles 'poison'), he began the publication of a new and better journal, entitled the PAUL PRY. It boasted of several contributors and a list of regular subscribers. One of these (Mr. J.H.B.), while smarting under what he considered a malicious libel, met the editor one day on the brink of the St. Clair, and taking the law into his own hands, soused him ...
— Heroes of the Telegraph • J. Munro

... FUL. I pry thee, Anselm, but observe this fellow; Doest not hear him? he would die for love; That misshap'd love thou wouldst condemn in him, I see in thee: I ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. IX • Various

... good fellow, let me rest. You are warring against your own happiness in trying to pry into matters that are naught to you. I will not blight your future, Percy Guest, by letting you share any secrets of mine. There, good-night. I want ...
— Witness to the Deed • George Manville Fenn

... there is a story extant of a "Londoner" on his travels in the provinces, who rather eclipses the cunning "Yankee Peddler." In traveling post, says the narrator, he was obliged to stop at a village to replace a shoe which his horse had lost; when the "Paul Pry" of the place bustled up to the carriage-window, and without waiting for the ceremony of ...
— The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; • Various

... profitable 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, and ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862 • Various

... knowing the interior movements occasioning the course of events. This is a legitimate and reasonable curiosity; for every man hath a right to open and examine the mechanism of his own watch, put together for his proper use, although he is not permitted to pry into the interior of the timepiece which, for general information, is displayed on ...
— The Fair Maid of Perth • Sir Walter Scott

... washing in the kiva. This is not for the public gaze. If one knows no better than to try to pry into kiva ceremonies, he is courteously but ...
— The Unwritten Literature of the Hopi • Hattie Greene Lockett

... Mr. 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 ...
— Justice in the By-Ways - A Tale of Life • F. Colburn Adams

... a creek not far from his father's house, where it was customary to load sloops with wood. Upon one of these occasions, he persuaded a party of boys to pry up a pile of wood and tip it into a sloop, in a confused heap. Of course, it must all be taken out and reloaded. When he saw how much labor this foolish trick had caused, he felt some compunction; but the next temptation found the spirit of mischief ...
— Isaac T. Hopper • L. Maria Child

... here who consider that they are. We handle over ten thousand separate cases in all parts of the United States every year. We work on a case only so long as we are wanted. We try to find out only such things as our customers want. We do not pry unnecessarily into anybody's affairs. If we decide that we cannot find out what you want to know, we are the first to say so. Many cases are rejected right here in this office before we ever begin. Yours might be such a one. We don't want cases merely ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... the canoe behind the willows as Sam had said. Awkwardly he pushed off, hoping that Lucy would pry the whole story out of her son and put Rupert on their track ...
— Ralestone Luck • Andre Norton

... the spruces and bending the delicate hemlock branches, dusky shapes flit out of the green cover. Are they dry leaves blown about by the gust? No, leaves do not climb about in the face of the wind, or pry and peep into every cone crevice, crying 'twe-zee, twe-zee, twe-zee!' They are not leaves, but a flock of Kinglets forcing the bark crevices to yield them a breakfast of the insects which had put themselves comfortably to bed for the ...
— Citizen Bird • Mabel Osgood Wright and Elliott Coues

... directed on to that point, and the whole marriage law had to be adjusted accordingly. That is no longer possible. When a woman assumes her own moral responsibility, in sexual as in other matters, it becomes not only intolerable but meaningless for the community to pry into her most intimate physiological or spiritual acts. She is herself directly responsible to society as soon as she performs a social act, and ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... free, aff han', your story tell, When wi' a bosom crony; But still keep something to yoursel Ye scarcely tell to ony. Conceal yoursel as weel's ye can Frae critical dissection; But keek thro' ev'ry other man [pry] Wi' sharpen'd sly inspection. ...
— Robert Burns - How To Know Him • William Allan Neilson

... desire to pry into your affairs, Heaven knows," Merefleet said, "but this I will say. If I can be of use to either of you in helping to dispose of what appears to be a somewhat awkward predicament you may rely ...
— The Odds - And Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell



Words linked to "Pry" :   enquire, jemmy, wring from, lever, ask, horn in, extort, loose, wrecking bar, look, pry bar, intrude, crowbar, open, jim crow, search, jimmy, prize, prying, inquire, open up, nose, loosen



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