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

Examples of counterespionage in a Sentence

He was involved in counterespionage against Germany in World War II.
Recent Examples on the Web Xi's harsh covid-19 lockdowns brought significant swaths of the Chinese economy to a standstill in 2022, and his officials have raided foreign companies in apparent counterespionage investigations. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports,, 8 Feb. 2024 In the name of national security, China earlier this month called on its citizens to participate in counterespionage work, following an expansion of its anti-spying law in July, alarming the United States. Reuters, NBC News, 11 Aug. 2023 Beijing saw it as meddling by a foreign government, heightening tensions following Australia’s ban on Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. from its next-generation 5G mobile network and a tightening of counterespionage safeguards to criminalize foreign meddling in domestic politics. Rhiannon Hoyle, WSJ, 8 Dec. 2021 After China’s recent adoption of stringent data security and counterespionage legislation, European and American companies are discouraging executives from carrying information out of China even about day-to-day corporate operations. Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times, 19 Sep. 2023 On July 1, China enacted a sweeping expansion of a counterespionage law. Edward Wong, New York Times, 17 Sep. 2023 In late April, Beijing tightened its counterespionage law and expanded the list of activities that could be considered spying. Laura He, CNN, 24 Aug. 2023 Furthermore, on July 1, China updated its counterespionage law, broadening the definition of spying and banning the transfer of any data the government deems related to national security. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 27 July 2023 Revisions to Chinese counterespionage laws that came into effect on July 1 have heightened the United States’ concerns about national security impinging on business interests — fears intensified by the growing use of exit bans to prevent foreigners and Chinese alike from leaving. Christian Shepherd, Washington Post, 10 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'counterespionage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 Jun. 2024.

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