noun es·pi·o·nage \ˈes-pē-ə-ˌnäzh, -ˌnäj, -nij, Canada also -ˌnazh; ˌes-pē-ə-ˈnäzh; is-ˈpē-ə-nij\

: the things that are done to find out secrets from enemies or competitors : the activity of spying

Full Definition of ESPIONAGE

:  the practice of spying or using spies to obtain information about the plans and activities especially of a foreign government or a competing company <industrial espionage>

Examples of ESPIONAGE

  1. He was charged with several counts of espionage.
  2. <the acts of espionage on behalf of the Confederacy carried on by Belle Boyd and Rose Greenhow>


French espionnage, from Middle French, from espionner to spy, from espion spy, from Old Italian spione, from spia, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German spehōn to spy — more at spy
First Known Use: 1793

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism
ESPIONAGE Defined for Kids


noun es·pi·o·nage \ˈe-spē-ə-ˌnäzh\

Definition of ESPIONAGE for Kids

:  the practice of spying :  the use of spies


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