private eye


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private eye

A privately employed detective, as opposed to one working for the police or another authority. For example, The children loved stories about private eyes, and Janey wanted to become one. This expression comes from the term private investigator, the "i" of investigator being changed to "eye," which plays on the idea of a person looking into things. [1930s]
See also: eye, private

private eye

n. a detective who is licensed to work privately rather than for a police department. I worked for a while as a private eye.
See also: eye, private
References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Justice Saunders told the nine women and three men: "Unfortunately, Private Eye has seen fit to put out their November edition.
Referred to this week's edition of Private Eye, he said its attempt to produce a satirical cover was exactly what the jury should put out of their minds.
8220;A mention in Private Eye - a magazine that I, for one, have enjoyed reading over many years - is quite an accolade.
He revealed: "I've always fancied playing a private eye, ever since I saw Jack Nicholson as Jake Gittes in Chinatown.
Marnham's opus was unofficial and was not well received by those who ran Private Eye, but Macqueen's will not cause offence.
Private Eye is sold both by subscription and at newsstands.
I know it's been a fantastically gloomy year but often that's good for Private Eye in a perverse way.
Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph noted with interest that the story surfaced soon after Rose appeared alongside Private Eye editor Ian Hislop on a recent edition of Question Time.
But Private Eye simply replied: "Mr Callaghan is referred to the Eye's reply in the famous case of Arkell v Pressdram (1971).
a tough homo private eye who gets involved with Robert Downey Jr.
Word spreads that the private eye has hired Golgo 15, and the threat--if not the actual presence--of this fearsome assassin is enough to reduce the mobster to a quivering wreck.
Their quest will cause them to witness the mysteries of the forest, meet a paraplegic private eye with a three-legged bloodhound, and discover a secret that will change their lives forever.
The veteran left-wing writer -- a former journalist with the Daily Mirror and satirical magazine Private Eye -- was well-known for his anti-war views and campaigns against miscarriages of justice.
Detectives either in law enforcement or in the private sector--typically have distinct personality traits (see "America's Original Private Eye," page 77): They're as good with people as they are with numbers and they are inclined to be aggressive rather than shy and retiring.
The idea is to insulate CEOs--under the privileged claim of attorney-client work product--from the hands-on private eye work, some of which can be messy.
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