coun·​ter·​spy ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌspī How to pronounce counterspy (audio)
: a spy engaged in counterespionage

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web During the Spanish Civil War, an agent on a mission to purchase coal meets with murder and counterspies. Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2019 This wasn’t difficult to do, and the U.S. reacted with defensive measures, deploying FBI counterspies throughout the hemisphere. Nicholas Reynolds, WSJ, 24 Oct. 2018 Then there is the veteran Israeli espionage journalist Ronen Bergman, who has taken a slightly different angle into the shadow world of spies, counterspies and assassinations. Jeff Stein, Newsweek, 2 Feb. 2018 Spies fall in love with counterspies, Israelis with Palestinians, Prisoner Z with his guard. Sam Sacks, WSJ, 8 Sep. 2017

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

Word History

First Known Use

1939, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of counterspy was in 1939

Dictionary Entries Near counterspy

Cite this Entry

“Counterspy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


coun·​ter·​spy ˈkau̇nt-ər-ˌspī How to pronounce counterspy (audio)
: a spy employed in counterintelligence

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