Definition of prise in English:


(US prize)


  • 1with object and adverbial of direction Use force in order to move, move apart, or open (something)

    ‘I tried to prise Joe's fingers away from the stick’
    • ‘The lid of the freezer gave a tiny groan as we prised it open.’
    • ‘Company staff were forced to carry out the grim task of prising the animals free.’
    • ‘To clean the scallops, prise the shells open with a knife, scraping and loosening from the flat shell.’
    • ‘Gingerly prising the door open half-expecting a private party or aftermath of a wedding reception, we were pleasantly surprised to be ushered in and offered drinks.’
    • ‘At about 3.15 pm a section of the steel fencing was prised apart by some revellers.’
    • ‘Anyway last night, after I managed to prize Debbie off the computer, going for just one more click for about ten minutes, we went upstairs to watch The Others.’
    • ‘Rescue workers managed to prise it open but no one was found inside.’
    • ‘Too few people have been persuaded out of their cars and on to public transport; now they are being prized out.’
    • ‘Eventually when it was prised open, I found some yellowed and brittle sheets of paper, most of them hand-written, but illegible now.’
    • ‘Navy also looked to be the favourites as Air Force had almost prised the championship away from Army on the Sunday, losing by only a goal in the dying moments of the game.’
    • ‘Alli insists his offer fully values the business, despite industry claims that he will need to push the bid to at least £120m to have any chance of prising the station from SMG.’
    • ‘The shale is extremely fragile, and Gess's main tool has been a pen knife, with which he systematically prises layers apart, centimetre by centimetre, or even millimetre by millimetre.’
    • ‘Culture can prise open minds and penetrate perceptions in a way that politics has long since failed to do.’
    • ‘Lift the clumps carefully and prise the bulbs apart causing as little damage to the roots as possible.’
    • ‘Three minutes later the Liverpool defence was prised apart, alarmingly.’
    • ‘I tried to prise it apart with a ruler, then I tried using a pair of scissors to try and lever the infernal plastic spindle apart.’
    • ‘Last year there were 10 break-outs and 33 unsuccessful escape attempts, each involving detainees prising open windows under cover of darkness.’
    • ‘Fire surrounds, wall panelling and window sills were all prised out and shipped along the coast.’
    • ‘While prizing Chris away from the dog kennels (cos he really wants a little dog), one or two cats caught our eye.’
    • ‘At the time of writing, the hospitals of Baghdad are overflowing with the wounded and dying, as the city is prised apart by American tanks.’
    • ‘She prised them apart and pulled out a crumbling flake of card.’
    • ‘Well, no, it's just I need to prize myself from the Internet over the examination period and that means sacrificing blog updates.’
    • ‘Broken edges can be made neat by cutting a square of turf behind the damage, prising it free, moving it forward and trimming off the broken part.’
    • ‘By prising the gas and electricity markets away from state-owned monopolies, EU policy aims to get prices down - and that could mean higher consumption.’
    lever, force, wrench, pull, wrest, twist
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    1. 1.1prise something out of/from Obtain something from (someone) with effort or difficulty.
      ‘I got the loan, though I had to prise it out of him’
      • ‘The Australian Cricket Board, to their eternal shame, secretly fined the players then covered it up until the papers prised the story out of them.’
      • ‘Pearson was playing political hardball, using a pragmatic strategy designed to prise extra resources out of a conservative electorate and its government.’
      • ‘So I said ‘What if I prise a contract out of him for the winter as well and we all move out there?’’
      • ‘My weight knocked him off his feet and I wrestled with him in the mud of the street, swearing and cuffing at his head, until I managed to prise my wallet out of his hand.’
      • ‘By dint of not mentioning snow, I gently prised the story out of him, learning that he'd fumbled the first deal and lost two or three months in the process.’
      extract with difficulty, obtain with difficulty, worm out
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Late 17th century: from dialect prise ‘lever’, from Old French prise ‘grasp, taking hold’. Compare with pry.