coun·​ter·​es·​pi·​o·​nage ˌkau̇n-tər-ˈe-spē-ə-ˌnäzh How to pronounce counterespionage (audio)
 Canadian also  -ˌnazh;
: the activity concerned with detecting and thwarting enemy espionage

Example Sentences

He was involved in counterespionage against Germany in World War II.
Recent Examples on the Web Many privacy hawks and civil libertarians are focused this year on simply minimizing the FBI’s ability to access intelligence gathered for counterespionage purposes without a warrant. Dell Cameron, WIRED, 9 Mar. 2023 Now he was supposed to transform it into a major international intelligence and counterespionage agency capable of gathering secret information about enemy spies and, where possible, thwarting their activities. Beverly Gage, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Nov. 2022 Jay Bratt, the prosecutor leading the department’s counterespionage work, advocated seeking a judge’s warrant for an unannounced search at the property to quickly recover any sensitive documents still there. Anchorage Daily News, 1 Mar. 2023 Privacy advocates are largely focused on a subset of 702 collection — the FBI’s searches of a fraction of the 702 database for leads in counterespionage, cyber, or counterterrorism probes. Ellen Nakashima,, 28 Feb. 2023 The vaunted G-men who had rocketed to fame as dauntless crimebusters now looked like the Keystone Cops of counterespionage. Bertrand M. Patenaude, WSJ, 8 Oct. 2020 The case has also exposed other serious vulnerabilities for Germany, which former American intelligence officers said in recent years has been seen as not aggressive enough in its vigilance over Russian spying and its counterespionage efforts. Erika Solomon,, 18 Feb. 2023 His lead lawyers in the case met on June 3 with Mr. Bratt, the chief of the counterespionage section of the national security division at the Justice Department. Maggie Haberman, New York Times, 26 Aug. 2022 With British approval, Hoover dispatched FBI official Hugh Clegg to London for a round of training in espionage and counterespionage techniques. Beverly Gage, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'counterespionage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of counterespionage was in 1899

Dictionary Entries Near counterespionage

Cite this Entry

“Counterespionage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

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