• Come to pry into things, and look about and find out, that wuzn't a real ship
    Come to pry into things, and look about and find out, that wuzn't a real ship
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v pry be nosey "Don't pry into my personal matters!"
    • v pry to move or force, especially in an effort to get something open "The burglar jimmied the lock": "Raccoons managed to pry the lid off the garbage pail"
    • v pry make an uninvited or presumptuous inquiry "They pried the information out of him"
    • v pry search or inquire in a meddlesome way "This guy is always nosing around the office"
    • n pry a heavy iron lever with one end forged into a wedge
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A 4-inch-long abalone can grip a rock with a force of 400 pounds. Two grown men are incapable of prying it up.
    • n Pry A lever; also, leverage.
    • n Pry Curious inspection; impertinent peeping.
    • v. i Pry To peep narrowly; to gaze; to inspect closely; to attempt to discover something by a scrutinizing curiosity; -- often implying reproach. "To pry upon the stars.""Watch thou and wake when others be asleep,
      To pry into the secrets of the state."
    • v. t Pry To raise or move, or attempt to raise or move, with a pry or lever; to prize.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • pry To look closely or with scrutinizing curiosity; hence, to search curiously or impertinently into any matter; peer; peep.
    • pry To observe; note.
    • n pry A peeping glance; peering; curious or narrow inspection.
    • n pry One who pries; a prier; an inquisitive, intrusive person (with allusion to Paul Pry, a fictitious name which, in its turn, was evidently suggested by this sense of the word).
    • n pry A large lever employed to raise or move heavy substances; a prize.
    • pry To raise or move by means of a pry; prize; bring into a desired position or condition by means of a pry: as, to pry a box open.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Pry prī to peer or peep into that which is closed: to inspect closely: to try to discover with curiosity
    • n Pry (rare) a peeping glance: one who pries—cf. Paul Pry, in John Poole's (1792-1879) comedy so called, first produced in 1825
    • ***


  • Robert Browning
    “Where the apple reddens never pry -- lest we lose our Edens, Eve and I.”
  • Victor Hugo
    “For prying into any human affairs, non are equal to those whom it does not concern.”
  • Mark Twain
    “We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that a savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter.”
  • Collis P. Huntingdon
    Collis P. Huntingdon
    “Whatever is not nailed down is mine. What I can pry loose is not nailed down.”
  • Lyell Rader
    Lyell Rader
    “If you can't pray a door open, don't pry it open.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Corrupted fr. prize, a lever. See Prize (n.)


In literature:

Prying loose the old wide flooring is a difficult operation.
"If You're Going to Live in the Country" by Thomas H. Ormsbee and Richmond Huntley
It was for this reason that she sat still for a minute in the boat, looking up at Toyner, trying to pry into his attitude toward her.
"The Zeit-Geist" by Lily Dougall
The war and your idea of duty, of service, pried us apart.
"The Hidden Places" by Bertrand W. Sinclair
I am going back to the katityam, for it is not good to run about and pry.
"The Delight Makers" by Adolf Bandelier
Once more his knife came into use as he pried and dug at the barrier.
"Star Born" by Andre Norton
The fogs were a protection from prying vessels, but the calms proved to be an unmitigated nuisance.
"Ralph Granger's Fortunes" by William Perry Brown
At last, by prying and pounding, they got it up perhaps a yard from the floor.
"Ralestone Luck" by Andre Norton
Then if any prying housemaid comes along and wants to look inside she won't be able to.
"The Rebellion of Margaret" by Geraldine Mockler
As though prying eyes were upon me.
"Brigands of the Moon" by Ray Cummings
And he was going to pry a few enlightening answers out of somebody very soon.
"The Time Traders" by Andre Norton
How happy are we that it is not necessary to pry into such minds!
"The Entailed Hat" by George Alfred Townsend
As it was, he pinched like a vise with his strong little jaws, and I had all I wanted to pry him loose.
"Red Saunders' Pets and Other Critters" by Henry Wallace Phillips
Thomas, however, still believed that we could move the rock by throwing our united weight on a long pry; and many of the boys agreed with him.
"A Busy Year at the Old Squire's" by Charles Asbury Stephens
You couldn't pry her out with a crowbar.
"Country Neighbors" by Alice Brown
If I had got a purchase on the door of the room, I could have pried it down; but there was no chance to get hold of it.
"Down South" by Oliver Optic
The police interfered and about half an hour later the last Siwash student was pried off the last Kiowan.
"At Good Old Siwash" by George Fitch
She set it on the table and pried back the jigsawed lid.
"The Pagan Madonna" by Harold MacGrath
After that first display of jealousy Beth discovered that her husband pried upon her continually.
"The Beth Book" by Sarah Grand
Didn't mean to pry open any dark secrets.
"Peter the Brazen" by George F. Worts
He pried the second and it yielded.
"Billy Topsail & Company" by Norman Duncan

In poetry:

All round her universe she pried:
No dawn began to break:
In prophet-agony she cried—
"Mother! when shall we wake?"
"A Dream of Waking" by George MacDonald
In reality
You must do it, I suppose;
But even in my dreams, too,
Hiding from prying eyes,
To see you do that pains me so.
"In reality" by Ono no Komachi
Black London trees have made their screen
From folk who pry and peer,
The sooty sparrows now begin
Their talk of country cheer.
"The Convent Garden" by Katharine Tynan
I know not, and will never pry,
But trust our human heart for all;
Wonders that from the seeker fly
Into an open sense may fall.
"The Foot-Path" by James Russell Lowell
Come mother and wife and piteous bride,
The wall's nigh broken through;
And there be some the other side
That peep and pry for you.
"The Wall Between" by Katharine Tynan
"Psyche am I, who love to dwell
In these brown shades, this woody dell,
Where never busy mortal came,
Till now, to pry upon my shame.
"A Vision Of Repentance" by Charles Lamb

In news:

Schneiderman Has Every Right to Pry .
One of them is Juliet Pries, The Ice Cream Bar's owner.
Album Reviews If the kids pried jazz from the old institutions that keep the music on life support and reinvented it for themselves—could this music be cool again.
The T1/PRI Gateway and upgraded software allow the Synapse system to support 39 lines and 100 extensions.
Six Republican state lawmakers have turned to the courts to help them pry open sealed whistleblower records from Grady Hospital.
I've made some stabs at it, pried out of my rubbly brain a few pages, always "preliminary," from time to time.
Door pried off to rescue woman after OKC crash.
Feature Opportunities Await Media at 25th Annual PRI Trade Show.
Prying Lynch away from Buffalo was steal.
Most polls put Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) at the front.
We can all agree Illinois coach Tim Beckman took the wrong approach in trying to pry players away from Penn State in the wake of last summer's sanctions.
Personal health records in an electronic format can be portable and safe today from prying eyes.
" He goes on to say, "Many people use a secondary email account when registering for casual activities such as hobbies and interests, with a pri...
Crime Scene Investigation," "The Mentalist") and ABC (" Grey 's Anatomy," "Pri...
Advised she was gone for about four hours and when she returned to her residence someone had gained entry by prying open a bedroom window.

In science:

Bottom-k sketches are a powerful summarization format of weighted items that includes priority sampling (pri) and the classic weighted sampling without replacement (ws).
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
This estimator generalizes the known estimator for pri sketches and its derivation is simpler.
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
Our derivation generalizes and simplifies one for pri sketches (pri RC estimator) and reveals general principles.
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
The SC derivation exploits special properties of ws sketches – there is no known pri estimator with negative covariances.
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
We implemented and compared the performance of a k-mins estimator (wsr), ws ML, pri RC, ws RC, and the approximate ws SC estimators on Pareto weight distributions with a range of skew parameters (see Section 7).
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
When the total weight is unknown or is not used, the performances of ws ML, ws RC, and pri RC are almost indistinguishable.
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
Section 7 we compare our confidence bounds with previous approaches (a bound for pri sketches and known wsr estimators) using a range of Pareto distributions with different skew parameters.
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
Qj∈s min{1, w(ij )x}dx The upper bound on w(I \ s) is the value of ℓ that solves the equation R τ 0 D(pri,u) (ℓ, y )dy = 1 − δ .
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
We evaluate the maximum likelihood ws estimator (ws ML), the rank conditioning ws estimator (ws RC), the rank conditioning pri estimator (pri RC) , and the wsr estimator (Section 2).
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
The quality of the estimate is similar among the bottom-k estimators (ws ML, ws RC, and pri RC).
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
The maximum likelihood estimator (ws ML), which is biased, has worse performance for very small values of k where the bias is more significant. pri RC has a slight advantage especially if the distribution is more skewed.
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
This is because, in this setting, with unknown w(I ), pri RC is a nearly optimal adjusted-weight based estimator.
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
We compare the Chernoff based pri confidence bounds from and the ws and wsr confidence bounds we derived.
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
We can see that the ws confidence bounds are tighter, and often significantly so, than the pri confidence bounds.
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight
In fact pri confidence bounds were worse than the wsr-based bounds on less-skewed distributions (including the uniform distribution on 1000 items).
Sketch-Based Estimation of Subpopulation-Weight