coun·​ter·​es·​pi·​o·​nage | \ ˌkau̇n-tər-ˈe-spē-ə-ˌnäzh How to pronounce counterespionage (audio) , -ˌnäj, -nij, Canadian also -ˌnazh; -ˌe-spē-ə-ˈnäzh; -ə-ˈspē-ə-nij \

Definition of counterespionage

: 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 The 32-year-old ended up dead in a Melbourne hotel room in March after reportedly approaching ASIO, Australia's counterespionage agency. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "US gets dragged into fight as Australia-China war of words escalates," 1 May 2020 Iran has made similar uncorroborated claims about its efforts in counterespionage this year, often in the wake of political clashes with the United States. Ruby Mellen, Washington Post, "Iran’s claim that it arrested 17 spies for the U.S. follows a familiar script," 22 July 2019 As a result, the pace of play in the postseason sputtered as teams employed multi-sign sequences with the bases empty in acts of counterespionage. Alex Speier,, "MLB to investigate allegations that Red Sox illegally stole signs in 2018 using video replay room," 7 Jan. 2020 The Yankees will surely employ counterespionage measures of their own, in part because the Astros were under suspicion of illicit sign stealing during last year’s A.L.C.S., although Major League Baseball cleared them of any wrongdoing. David Waldstein, New York Times, "Real or Imagined, Baseball Spying Causes Angst in the Playoffs," 12 Oct. 2019 China’s Ministry of State Security, an intelligence and counterespionage agency that doesn’t have a spokesman or website, couldn’t be reached for comment. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "Former Chinese Official Linked to Exiled Tycoon Gets Life in Prison," 27 Dec. 2018 The 32-year-old was found dead in a Melbourne hotel room in March after reportedly approaching ASIO, Australia’s counterespionage agency. Washington Post, "Australia investigates China plot to plant spy in Parliament," 25 Nov. 2019 Either way, the counterespionage measures have added time to games, with pitchers taking longer between pitches. Dave Sheinin,, "MLB must address sign-stealing scandal after report on Astros’ video espionage," 13 Nov. 2019 Working in a United States attorney’s office, Mr. Ratcliffe would have worked with F.B.I. agents investigating terrorism and counterespionage cases. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "Trump’s Pick for Top Intelligence Post Overstated Parts of His Biography," 30 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of counterespionage

1899, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of counterespionage was in 1899

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Cite this Entry

“Counterespionage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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English Language Learners Definition of counterespionage

formal : the activity of preventing or stopping enemies from spying

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