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Pry   Listen
verb
Pry  v. t.  (past & past part. pried; pres. part. prying)  To raise or move, or attempt to raise or move, with a pry or lever; to prize. (Local, U. S. & Eng.)






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Pry" Quotes from Famous Books



... in Harnden. "We are outsiders and will probably remain so, and have no hankering to pry into family matters." ...
— When Egypt Went Broke • Holman Day

... four o'clock that summer afternoon when the three women—Margaret Bean, the tavern-keeper's wife, and the storekeeper's wife—who had followed Dorothy and Eugene into the lane to pry upon them set forth to communicate by word of mouth the scandalous proceedings they had witnessed; and long before midnight all the village knew. The women crept cautiously at a good distance behind Dorothy and Eugene out of the lane, ...
— Madelon - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... out to 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

... again he pried 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 ...
— Joe Strong, the Boy Fish - or Marvelous Doings in a Big Tank • Vance Barnum

... 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

... entered within the said chamber, perceiving the said whilom John to be wakened out of his sleep by their din, and to pry over his bed-stock, the said Robert came then running to him, and most cruelly, with clenched fists, gave him a deadly and cruel stroke on the jugular vein, wherewith he cast the said whilom John to the ground, from out his ...
— She Stands Accused • Victor MacClure

... 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 ...
— The Devil's Admiral • Frederick Ferdinand Moore

... 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 ...
— Great African Travellers - From Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley • W.H.G. Kingston

... startled by the look on his face; it was just as if something had made him desperately afraid. But it was only for a moment, and then he had got his features into control, so she hastily averted her head lest he should see her looking, and think that she was trying to pry into what did not concern her. He swallowed down the rest of his coffee at a gulp and rose to go. But his manner now was so changed and uneasy that Katherine must have wondered at it, even if she had not caught a glimpse ...
— A Countess from Canada - A Story of Life in the Backwoods • Bessie Marchant

... Maryland during the bright September afternoon. But before the glow of a lovely sunset had faded from the sky the artillery once more opened on the ridge above, and reports came in that the Federals were crossing the Antietam near Pry's Mill. Lee at once ordered Longstreet to meet this threat with Hood's division, and Jackson was ordered into line on the left of Hood. No serious collision, however, took place during the evening. The Confederates made no attempt to oppose the passage of the Creek. Hood's pickets were driven in, ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... the chest. It was old, strong, and rusty. He looked at the vast and old-fashioned lock and flashed his light on the hinges. They were deeply incrusted with rust. Looking about, he found a bit of iron and began to pry. The rust had eaten a hundred years, and it had gone deep. Slowly, wearily, the old lid lifted, and with a last, low groan lay bare its treasure—and he saw the dull sheen ...
— Darkwater - Voices From Within The Veil • W. E. B. Du Bois

... to his father that they should open the chest, thereby exciting a most unwonted burst of ire. "I pry into poor Jamie's accounts while he's lost his mind of grief about that girl!" (For also to him Mercedes, now nigh to forty, was still a girl.) "I would not stoop to doubt him, sir." Yet, on the other hand, Mr. Bowdoin would probably have never ...
— Pirate Gold • Frederic Jesup Stimson

... feign madness I might obtain greater liberty. On putting my idea into execution, I found that it had the desired effect; and I was allowed from that time forward to go about wherever I liked, and to pry into people's houses and gardens, and even into the temples. I soon found my way down to the sea-shore, and used to pretend to be busy in picking up shells, and in stringing them together into necklaces and bracelets for my own adornment. Then I made others, which I presented, ...
— Old Jack • W.H.G. Kingston

... chest. Hidden treasures are always found in sailors' chests, ye know. And taking a three-foot bar of iron, which every gentleman in tales carries concealed upon his person, we, you and I,—none of the others, of course,—will pry this chest open—to find ducats and doubloons, and piastres, and sous-marquees—and a map of the Spanish Main and the Dry Tortugas—with crosses in blood. I'll tell you, ye can have my share of it now," he cried, ...
— Nancy Stair - A Novel • Elinor Macartney Lane

... Jesuits entered heart and soul into the work of education, winning their pupils' hearts by kindness, watching their moods, directing their minds into congenial studies, and inspiring them with generous sentiments, they did not stop to pry into their motives; and universities, when they discovered the superior culture of educated Jesuits, outstripping all their associates in learning, and shedding a light by their genius and erudition, very naturally appointed them to the highest chairs; ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume VI • John Lord

... addressing the very American who, so many years ago, instead of hitting him, had embraced his knees. He was overwhelmed by this extraordinary coincidence. 'Approach. O heaven! O Providence! It is he, behold the object of my gratitude. ... My benefactor! My son!' But let us not pry further into so affecting a passage; it is sufficient to state that Don Alvarez, after promising his protection to Zamore, hurried off to relate this remarkable occurrence to his ...
— Books and Characters - French and English • Lytton Strachey

... Patapsco, do you not?" he asked calmly. "Answer me, please, and don't think I'm trying to pry into your affairs. The matter is much more serious than you seem to think." The tone was so sympathetic that St. George looked closer into his antagonist's face, trying to read ...
— Kennedy Square • F. Hopkinson Smith

... mail, of 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 some ...
— The Purple Parasol • George Barr McCutcheon

... 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and 118), and then cut a circle around the trunk at the two ends of the log and a slit from one circle clean up to the other circle (Fig. 38); next, with a sharp stick shaped like a blunt-edged chisel, pry off the bark carefully until you take the piece off in one whole section. If it is spruce bark or any other bark you seek, hunt through the woods for a comparatively smooth trunk and proceed in the same manner as with the birch. To take it off a standing ...
— Shelters, Shacks and Shanties • D.C. Beard

... honahable to insist on finding out things that were not intended for her to know. I hadn't thought. If mothah took all the trouble of sending a special-delivery lettah to you to keep me from knowing till my birthday, I'm not going to pry ...
— The Little Colonel: Maid of Honor • Annie Fellows Johnston

... come there to force an entrance into the cabin, was quickly made plain to even Dan's dull comprehension. He saw them try the door, and then go around to the other side of the building and attempt to pry off the planks that covered the window. Dan heard something crack as Bob laid out his strength on the lever he was using, and believing that the thieves were on the point of accomplishing their object, he uttered a loud whistle to ...
— The Boy Trapper • Harry Castlemon

... "You haven't got nothin' on me. It was suicide—cor'ner's jury says so. Lord! It has to be, him layin' there, all hunched up on the floor, his gun so tight in his mitt that they had to pry the ...
— The Million-Dollar Suitcase • Alice MacGowan

... and if you did it would do you absolutely no good. Your husband is no dumb fool to be "influenced" this way or that by two women! He is a man with ideas of his own. If he was disappointed in you as wife, he has possibly turned to some other woman. If so the more you pry and suspect and hint around, the more positively he will turn away from you. If you "found out" and made things warm for him or another he would simply hate and despise you and be the harder set against you. ...
— Happiness and Marriage • Elizabeth (Jones) Towne

... Scorpion, and the Bull— We pry among them all; have shot High o'er the red-haired race of Mars, Covered from top to toe with scars; Such company I ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. II. • William Wordsworth

... look unto, or with vehement desire bend, as it were, their necks, and bow down their heads to look and peep into, (as the word used, I Pet. i. 12, importeth) is a subject for angelical heads to pry into, for the most indefatigable and industrious spirits to be occupied about. The searching into, and studying of this one truth, in reference to a closing with it as our life, is an infallible mark of a soul divinely enlightened, and endued with spiritual and heavenly wisdom; for though it be ...
— Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life • John Brown (of Wamphray)

... was a mighty badly broken-up woman the last time I saw her, but even so I judge she's still got spunk enough left in her to resent having an unauthorized and uninvited stranger coming about, seeking to pry into her own private sorrow. But it's your affair, not mine. Besides, judging by everything, you probably don't think my advice is worth ...
— Sundry Accounts • Irvin S. Cobb

... he said, "have you forgotten that on a far more important occasion to YOU, I showed no desire to pry into your secret?" Hurlstone made a movement of deprecation. "Nor have I any such desire now. But for the sake of our coming to an understanding as friends, let me answer the question for you. You are here, my dear ...
— The Crusade of the Excelsior • Bret Harte

... unwittingly laid up a peck of fresh trouble for himself. This was brought to a head by the action of his spinster aunt, Miss Susannah Heald, who, until he came of age, had been his guardian. Suspecting Lola of a "past," she set herself to pry into it. Gathering that her nephew's inamorata had already been married, she employed enquiry agents to look into this previous union and discover just how and when it had been dissolved. They did their work well, and reported that the divorce decree ...
— The Magnificent Montez - From Courtesan to Convert • Horace Wyndham

... you would bind Unlawfully to human mind. Gone is every woodland elf To the mighty god himself. Mortal! You yourself are fast! Doubt not Pan shall come at last To put a leer within your eyes That pry into his mysteries. He shall touch the busy brain Lest it ever teem again; Point the ears and twist the feet, Till by day you dare not meet Men, or in the failing light Mutter ...
— Georgian Poetry 1911-12 • Various

... dreadful calamities which Antiochus, the wicked emperor of Greece, threatened to bring upon his subjects and city of Tyre, in revenge for a discovery which the prince had made of a shocking deed which the emperor had done in secret; as commonly it proves dangerous to pry into the hidden crimes of great ones. Leaving the government of his people in the hands of his able and honest minister, Helicanus, Pericles set sail from Tyre, thinking to absent himself till the wrath of Antiochus, who was ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... know him. I know God is wise in all, wonderful in what we conceive, but far more in what we comprehend not; for we behold Him but asquint upon reflex or shadow; our understanding is dimmer than Moses' eye; we are ignorant of the back parts or lower side of His divinity; therefore to pry into the maze of His counsels, is not only folly in man, but presumption even in angels; like us, they are His servants, not His senators; He holds no counsel, but that mystical one of the Trinity, wherein though there ...
— Sir Thomas Browne and his 'Religio Medici' - an Appreciation • Alexander Whyte

... responded the minister's wife—just as she always did. "It fires the imagination! He walks off some fine morning and completely shuts the door on our life here—as if he gave us notice not to pry into his movements. But this time"—she was leaning to stroke the tawny sides with a pitying touch—"this time you may be sure something very sad and disappointing happened to him—something in that other life went quite wrong! ...
— Golden Stories - A Selection of the Best Fiction by the Foremost Writers • Various

... be like a can of sardines. You can't get a thing out of him unless you have a key," thought Jerry. And he wondered how he was going to pry the truth out of ...
— Jerry's Charge Account • Hazel Hutchins Wilson

... us said a word of the affair itself, for John didn't seem to know that he had been frightened, and I was afraid to alarm him by speaking of it. He asked no questions of any sort, although in general he is a miniature Paul Pry, expressed no surprise that I was bareheaded and bloody, or that we had come so far from the fishing place and left our tackle behind. His face expressed confusion, such as a child will exhibit when he is waked suddenly ...
— Forest & Frontiers • G. A. Henty

... the first few hours of the trip till now; things made of pongee silk, with windows of talc over our eyes and little lace doors for our breath to pass through. It was fun when we would slacken speed in some town or village, to see how the young Italians tried to pry into the motor-masks' secrets and find out if we were pretty. How much more they would have stared at Maida than at her two grey-clad companions, if they had known! But behind the pongee and the talc, for once our features could flaunt themselves ...
— My Friend the Chauffeur • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... me. Mr. Martin boards with me, and as long as he pays for his board I don't want to pry into his affairs. If he has taken a tin box from you, I presume he had a better right to it than you had. Are you going to bring your son down ...
— Rufus and Rose - The Fortunes of Rough and Ready • Horatio Alger, Jr

... "No, Mrs Pry, I did not call; but I ventured to express my feelings in regard to a piece of good news which ...
— Hunting the Lions • R.M. Ballantyne

... toober-chlosis 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

... 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, I never took with that hand'—holding ...
— The Chimes • Charles Dickens

... Odo's foster-mother, the hulking bully their son and the abate who once a week came out from Pianura to give Odo religious instruction and who dismissed his questions with the invariable exhortation not to pry into matters that were beyond his years. Odo had loved the pictures in the chapel all the better since the abate, with a shrug, had told him they were nothing but old rubbish, the ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... connection of certain aspects and conjunctions or oppositions of the stars and heavenly bodies, with the events of the world and the characters and actions of men. The human mind has ever confessed an anxiety to pry into the future, and to deal in omens and prophetic suggestions, and, certain coincidences having occurred however fortuitously, to deduce from them rules and maxims upon which to build an ...
— Lives of the Necromancers • William Godwin

... dress herself, to brush her own hair, to take off her own clothes; and that she was not, either by nature or education, an incapable young woman. But that honour and glory demanded it, she would almost as lief have had no Patience Crabstick to pry into her most private matters. All which Crabstick knew, and would often declare her missus to be "of all missuses the most slyest and least come-at-able." On this present night she was very soon despatched to her own chamber. Lizzie, however, took ...
— The Eustace Diamonds • Anthony Trollope

... ther gover'ment to take away anybody's honest means o' earnin' a livin'? What right has ther gover'ment to send spies up har ter peek an' pry an' report on a man as is makin' a little moonshine ter sell that he may be able ter git bread an' drink fer his fam'ly? What right has ther gover'ment ter make outlaws an' crim'nals o' men as wouldn't steal a cent that didn't b'long ter them if ...
— Frank Merriwell Down South • Burt L. Standish

... Prywell managed his charge and the trust that Mansoul had put in his hands, with great conscience and good fidelity; for he gave himself wholly up to his employ, and that not only within the town, but he went out to pry, ...
— The Holy War • John Bunyan

... 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 big ...
— Cow-Country • B. M. Bower

... the old prejudice is a-dying. We need not pry into the secret of its birth. Rather is this a time of jolliness and glad indulgence. For the era of rouge is upon us, and as only in an elaborate era can man, by the tangled accrescency of his own pleasures and emotions, reach that ...
— The Works of Max Beerbohm • Max Beerbohm

... impatience, and partly from a wish to pry—he opened the door of the parlour. "Oh, my God!" he screamed, leaping back, and with his bulky bag got stuck in the kitchen door, in his desperate hurry to ...
— The House with the Green Shutters • George Douglas Brown

... extraordinary story of him. One day, Agrippa 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

... The building itself has been desecrated and damaged by the public ever since its abandonment. Its visitors apparently did not scruple to deface it in every possible way, and what could not be stolen was ruthlessly destroyed. It apparently was a pleasure to them to pry the massive roof-beams loose, in order to enjoy the crash occasioned by the breaking of ...
— The Old Franciscan Missions Of California • George Wharton James

... leaves are brown and crackly. I can do what I like with it after this. So when my other transplanting grows tiresome, I fall upon my phlox. Every year some of it needs thinning, so quickly does it spread. I take the spading-fork, and, with what seems like utter ruthlessness, I pry out from the thickest centers enough good roots to give the rest breathing and growing space. Along the path edges I always have to cut out encroaching roots each year, or else soon there would be no path. But all that I take out is precious, either ...
— More Jonathan Papers • Elisabeth Woodbridge

... Unwilling to pry into other people's secrets, I was turning back when the speakers, hearing the noise, rushed from the arbour, with their swords half drawn. One was the owner of the chateau: the other my ...
— My Sword's My Fortune - A Story of Old France • Herbert Hayens

... and silent. I had not come to pry into the secrets of Eternity nor to investigate the Sphinx's private life, and so had little to say and few questions to ask; but to whatever I did say she remained morosely indifferent. It was clear that either she suspected me of being in search of the secrets of one of her gods, or of ...
— The Book of Wonder • Edward J. M. D. Plunkett, Lord Dunsany

... pay any attention. Passengers, women passengers especially, often do that—pull up a 'roustie' and pry into him to see what sort of wheels he has. But I noticed that they talked for quite a little while; because, when I finished dressing and went below, ...
— The Price • Francis Lynde

... him in a fierce embrace, releasing all his pent-up rage, agony, resentment, misery, fear in one paroxysm of affection for the man who cared enough to run risks for the sake of rescuing him. Fred had to pry him ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... because he shed on art a light of grace so pleasing, that his works will always be held in great price, and himself honoured by all students of design. Would to God that he had always pursued the studies of painting, and had not sought to pry into the secrets of congealing mercury in order to become richer than Nature and Heaven had made him; for then he would have been without an equal, and truly unique in the art of painting, whereas, by searching for ...
— Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol. 05 ( of 10) Andrea da Fiesole to Lorenzo Lotto • Giorgio Vasari

... 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 applied—"What is that ...
— Sermons on Various Important Subjects • Andrew Lee

... throw a wire at my sister and tell her not to move out to Jiggersville until day after to-morrow. In the mean time we'll have to get a crowbar and pry your family circle loose from my premises. Nothing doing ...
— Back to the Woods • Hugh McHugh

... entreated of us to be silent, refusing to give any answer. We were naturally doubtful whether these voluntary conversations, on their part, were really sincere, or the result of an artful attempt to pry into ...
— My Ten Years' Imprisonment • Silvio Pellico

... aching heart behind. She might dismiss Marcia's tirade as other members of the 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 ...
— Floyd Grandon's Honor • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... find no Fault with what any Man purposes to do or does, I don't prefer myself before other People; I let every one enjoy his Opinion; what I would have kept as a Secret, I tell to no Body: I never am curious to pry in the Privacies of other Men. If I happen to come to the Knowledge of any thing, I never blab it. As for absent Persons, I either say nothing at all of them, or speak of them with Kindness and Civility. Great Part of ...
— Colloquies of Erasmus, Volume I. • Erasmus

... of the ravine—to her. But Blake's work was not the kind to slip or pull out. The watcher looked at the powerful figure backing rapidly down that roof-like pitch. One of the toes of the level tripod under the taut loop would easily pry the rope off the spike-head. He turned his pack around to get at the tripod—and paused to look upwards at the three tiny faces peering down over the ...
— Out of the Depths - A Romance of Reclamation • Robert Ames Bennet

... his looks, averse to heaven and good; Dusky he grew, and long revolving stood On some 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

... other ballers wuldn't be treeted to my distingushed presense, wen I remembered the box of cloes wot our dinin room gal, wot was purty fly, left, wen she loped with the buggler, & all ma's silver spoons. It was ony the wurk of a minnit to pry open the lid, and a dazzlin array of butyful & fancy does met my vishun. Then I shed all my things and commensed the arduus wurk of dressin. I say arduus, cos it was parrylisin, discom-fertin, & puzzlin. I useter wonder ...
— The Bad Boy At Home - And His Experiences In Trying To Become An Editor - 1885 • Walter T. Gray

... solemn oaths that she should be free, that she must be free. And now? Oh, the coward! The whole summer had passed by; the swallows had departed long ago, but the son was flying back to the paternal nest and was bringing somebody else with him; four more eyes to pry ...
— Absolution • Clara Viebig

... ignorant of what was done, would have soothed her anger, saying, "What fault, Mistress, hath thy son committed, that thou wouldst destroy the girl he loves? Knowest thou not that he is now of age? Because he wears his years so lightly must he seem to thee ever but a child? Wilt thou for ever thus pry into the [79] pastimes of thy son, always accusing his wantonness, and blaming in him those delicate wiles which are all thine own?" Thus, in secret fear of the boy's bow, did they seek to please him with their gracious patronage. ...
— Marius the Epicurean, Volume One • Walter Horatio Pater

... that was here last fall, that used to board around with the church people all the week, and talk about Zion and laying up treasures where the moths wouldn't gnaw them, and they wouldn't get rusty, and where thieves wouldn't pry off the hinges. He was the one that used to go home with Ma from prayer meetings, when Pa was down town, and who wanted to pay off the church debt in solid silver bricks. He's the bilk. I guess if Pa should get him by the neck he would jerk nine kinds of revealed religion ...
— The Grocery Man And Peck's Bad Boy - Peck's Bad Boy and His Pa, No. 2 - 1883 • George W. Peck

... 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 Vision of Desire • Margaret Pedler

... 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 as to ...
— Short Stories of Various Types • Various

... the Barber replied, "By Allah, O my lord, he went up before my eyes and I am still awaiting him." Then the Captain hurried away a second time and rummaged about, high and low, and left no place whereinto he did not pry and spy, yet he came upon no one. He was perplext at his affair and again going down to the Barber said to him, "O Man, we have found none." Still the fellow said to him doggedly, "Withal a man did go within, whilst I who am ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... well acquainted with levers. We apply them every day. A box arrives with its lid nailed down; we take a chisel, use it as a lever, pry the lid open, and see no marvel in what we have done (Fig. 1). And yet we thereby did with ease what would have been impossible for us even if we had put out the whole of our unaided strength. The use of levers is an old discovery; more than 1500 years before ...
— A Book of Exposition • Homer Heath Nugent

... of ignorance, ignorance is also the child of fear; the two react on, and produce each other. The more men dread Nature, the less they wish to know about her. Why pry into her awful secrets? It is dangerous; perhaps impious. She says to them, as in the Egyptian temple of old—"I am Isis, and my veil no mortal yet hath lifted." And why should they try or wish to lift it? If she will leave them in peace, they will leave her in peace. It is enough that she does not ...
— Health and Education • Charles Kingsley

... no right to pry into your private affairs, sir, but I have special reasons for wanting you to volunteer ...
— The Landloper - The Romance Of A Man On Foot • Holman Day

... how can you accuse me of trying to pry into your affairs!" cries injured Mrs. Ellison, and settles herself in a more comfortable ...
— A Chance Acquaintance • W. D. Howells

... lax. People sniffed his smoke, noting every change in its flavor, and pressed around Judge Thayer's garden fence trying to get a look at the operations. Judge Thayer was not a little indignant over the scoffings and denunciations, and this impertinent curiosity to pry upon what he gave them to understand was his own ...
— Trail's End • George W. Ogden

... sorcery and the secret of its terror. For it is children, more than any, who are conscious how "haunted" all manner of places and things are. And people themselves! The searching psychologists are led singularly astray. They peer and pry and repine, and all the while the real essence of the figure lies in its momentary expression—in its ...
— Visions and Revisions - A Book of Literary Devotions • John Cowper Powys

... to pry, my dear. But I was afraid there might be something between you and Fred, and I wanted to caution you. You see, Mary"—here Caleb's voice became more tender; he had been pushing his hat about on the table and looking at it, but finally he turned his eyes on his daughter—"a ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... exclaimed the girl, as he was about to withdraw. "Not a single thing will I touch—I will not even raise the lid—unless you are present. Father and Hetty have seen fit to keep the inside of this chest a secret from me, and I am much too proud to pry into their hidden treasures unless it were for their own good. But on no account will I open the chest alone. Stay with me, then; I want witnesses ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... pry open the window with a walking-stick, he threw himself into a big, upholstered chair. 'Twas then I remarked the splendor of his clothes, which were silk. And he wore a waistcoat all sewed with flowers. With a boy's intuition, I began to dislike ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... 'bout there bein' a plan in his watch-case, Gen'ral," spoke up Jack. Schoverling nodded, and turned to the hut. A moment later he came out, a smashed and bent gold watch in his hand. This they managed to pry open with a knife, and the explorer pulled out a tiny, many-folded map of onion-skin paper. The tracings were made in a brown ink, with marks that meant ...
— The Rogue Elephant - The Boys' Big Game Series • Elliott Whitney

... air is refreshed and I have courage to resume my pen, which the sultry weather had forced to lie dormant so long. I like this odd town of Venice, and find every day some new amusement in rambling about its innumerable canals and alleys. Sometimes I go and pry about the great church of Saint Mark, and examine the variety of marbles and mazes of delicate sculpture with which it is covered. The cupola, glittering with gold, mosaic, and paintings of half the wonders in the Apocalypse, never fails transporting me to the period of the Eastern empire. ...
— Dreams, Waking Thoughts, and Incidents • William Beckford

... known. Wert thou a fabulous Griffin, devouring the works of men; daily dragging virgins to thy cave;—clad also in scales that no spear would pierce: no spear but Death's? A Griffin not fabulous but real! Frightful, O Louis, seem these moments for thee.—We will pry no further into the horrors ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... 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 example of what I mean. A man may go on slaving and slaving in the public ...
— Poor Folk • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... may; The spirit of England none can slay! Dash the bomb on the dome of Paul's— Deem ye the fame of the Admiral falls? Pry the stone from the chancel floor,— Dream ye that Shakespeare shall live no more? Where is the giant shot that kills Wordsworth walking the old green hills? Trample the red rose on the ground,— Keats is Beauty while earth spins round! Bind ...
— A Treasury of War Poetry - British and American Poems of the World War 1914-1917 • Edited, with Introduction and Notes, by George Herbert Clarke

... to pry into your secret, Herr Count; I am no spy—you must have seen that ere this. All I know is that there is under your protection a woman to whom you are everything, and who will have no one ...
— The Nameless Castle • Maurus Jokai

... of pain 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 ...
— The Picture of Dorian Gray • Oscar Wilde

... III. 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 ever ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... enters not! Gerard, some wretched fool Dares pry into my sister's privacy! When such are young, it seems a precious thing To have approached,—to merely have approached, Got sight of the abode of her they set Their frantic thoughts upon. Ha ...
— A Blot In The 'Scutcheon • Robert Browning

... knife into the earth that filled the tunnel and still he pulled great rocks back with his shovel. All his life he had fought for his own hand. He would not let himself believe fate had played so scurvy a trick as to lock him alive into a tomb closed so tightly that he could not pry ...
— The Highgrader • William MacLeod Raine

... Proxy anstatauxulo. Prudence singardemo. Prudent singardema, prudenta. Prune cxirkauxhaki. Prune seka pruno. Pruning shears brancxotondilo. Prussian, a Pruso. Prussic acid ciana acido. Pry sercxi, rigardeti. Psalm psalmo. Psalmody psalmokantado. Psalter psalmaro. Pseudonym pseuxdonomo. Psychology psikologio. Puberty virigxo. Public publika. Publican drinkejmastro. Public-house drinkejo. Publicity publikigo, publikigeco. Publish publikigi, eldoni. ...
— English-Esperanto Dictionary • John Charles O'Connor and Charles Frederic Hayes

... stateroom, which, finding locked, I had not disturbed on my former visit. But first I explored the steward's pantry, in search of knife or hatchet. I found the latter, and, with it tucked into my belt, felt my way aft. It may have required five minutes to pry open the chest, and the reward was scarcely worth the effort. The upper tray contained nothing but clothing, and beneath this were books, and nautical instruments, with a bag of specie tucked into one corner, together with a small packet ...
— Wolves of the Sea • Randall Parrish

... jest and the torment of those among whom he lived, without the officiousness, the inquisitiveness, the effrontery, the toad-eating, the insensibility to all reproof, he never could have produced so excellent a book. He was a slave, proud of his servitude, a Paul Pry, convinced that his own curiosity and garrulity were virtues, an unsafe companion who never scrupled to repay the most liberal hospitality by the basest violation of confidence, a man without delicacy, without shame, ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... obtained a microscope—a short, complacent-looking implement it is, of brass—and he goes about everywhere now with little glass bottles in his pocket, ready to jump upon any stray polly-woggle he may find, and hale it home and pry into its affairs. Within his study window are perhaps half a dozen jars and basins full of green scum and choice specimens of black mud in which his victims live. He persists in making me look through this instrument, though I would rather ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... community, to a larger extent than most good people seem to be aware of. It need n't be true, to do this, any more than Homoeopathy 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' studies ...
— The Professor at the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.)

... fast about his shoulders, and allowing ten or twelve feet of slack, knotted it securely to a ring in the end of the boat. "There, now I can get onto the rock an' by using the pole for a crow-bar, I can pry us off, then if I get left I'll just trail along on this rope until I can pull ...
— Prairie Flowers • James B. Hendryx

... but Annibale is not a farceur, nor his Blessed One absurd. Mysteries are all about us. Some are for the eschatologist and some for the shepherd; some for Patmos and some for the podere. Let our historian remember, in fact, that the natures into which he invites us to pry are those of the little divinities of earth and he can't go very far wrong. ...
— Lore of Proserpine • Maurice Hewlett

... at the foot of the stairs wide enough to detect a half-clothed man trying to pry open with one arm a heavy door above. She hesitated for a moment, but when the man had shoved the door back a little farther, enough for her to see Mrs. Preston struggling with all her force, she ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... inquiries into the digestive apparatus of whales, and that Noah sealed up a letter in an empty bottle, that news in regard to him might not be wanting in case of the worst. They had else been super or subter human. I conceive, also, that, as there are certain persons who continually peep and pry at the key-hole of that mysterious door through which, sooner or later, we all make our exits, so there are doubtless ghosts fidgeting and fretting on the other side of it, because they have no means of conveying back to the world the scraps of news ...
— The Biglow Papers • James Russell Lowell

... 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 the course of ...
— His Majesties Declaration Defended • John Dryden

... place,' but we have also to remember that in our hearts there is a secret place, and that 'not easily forgiven are they who draw back the curtains,' and let a careless world look in. It is not for others to pry into the hidden mysteries of the fellowship of a soul with the indwelling Christ, however it may be the Christian duty to show to all and sundry the blessed and transforming ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ephesians; Epistles of St. Peter and St. John • Alexander Maclaren

... themselves on all Accounts exempt and wholly divested from Thirst; made several Laws to prevent the Growth of it, and punish the Wicked who openly dared to quench it. If you examin'd them in their private Persons, and pry'd narrowly into their Lives and Conversations, they seem'd to be more fond, or at least drank larger Draughts of Small Beer than others, but always under Pretence that the Mending of Complexions required greater Quantities of Liquor in them, than it did in those they ruled over; ...
— A Letter to Dion • Bernard Mandeville

... the long run," said Luck, "to give them an hour here. I'll pay the Injuns for what grass they eat. Ramon must have stopped here yesterday. I'm going up and see if I can't pry a little information loose from those squaws and papooses. Come on, Applehead—you can talk a little Navvy; you come and tell ...
— The Heritage of the Sioux • B.M. Bower

... in 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,' ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... by that Power to whom only the human heart is fully known. I added, however, that, if I knew more of his mental history for some years past, (into which my affection-should never induce me impertinently to pry,) I might, perhaps, in some measure, account for his scepticism; that I could even conceive cases of minds so "encompassed with infirmity," or so dependent on states of health, as to render such a state involuntary, ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers



Words linked to "Pry" :   loose, loosen, open, intrude, enquire, look, wring from, jemmy, extort, jimmy, open up, ask, poke, search, nose, crowbar, prise, lever, prize



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