verb \ˈspī\

: to try secretly to get information about a country, organization, etc. : to act as a spy

: to see or notice (someone or something)


Full Definition of SPY

transitive verb
:  to watch secretly usually for hostile purposes
:  to catch sight of :  see
:  to search or look for intensively —usually used with out <spy out places fit for vending…goods — S. E. Morison>
intransitive verb
:  to observe or search for something :  look
:  to watch secretly as a spy

Examples of SPY

  1. They were accused of spying for a foreign government.
  2. <I spy a motel off in the distance, so let's spend the night there.>

Origin of SPY

Middle English spien, from Anglo-French espier, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German spehōn to spy; akin to Latin specere to look, look at, Greek skeptesthai & skopein to watch, look at, consider
First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with SPY



: a person who tries secretly to get information about a country or organization for another country or organization

: someone who secretly watches the movement or actions of other people

plural spies

Full Definition of SPY

:  one that spies:
a :  one who keeps secret watch on a person or thing to obtain information
b :  a person employed by one nation to secretly convey classified information of strategic importance to another nation; also :  a person who conveys the trade secrets of one company to another
:  an act of spying

Examples of SPY

  1. He was a spy for the CIA.
  2. My coworker is a spy for the boss.

First Known Use of SPY

13th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: spyglass
Previous Word in the Dictionary: sputum cup
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