double agent


Definition of double agent

: a spy pretending to serve one government while actually serving another

Examples of double agent in a Sentence

He was secretly working as a double agent for the Americans during the war.

Recent Examples on the Web

Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were both exposed to a nerve agent on March 4 in the English city of Salisbury and remain in a critical condition in hospital. Ben Westcott, CNN, "EU leaders back UK in Russian row over nerve agent attack," 23 Mar. 2018 Britain has accused Russia of being behind the nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, prompting nearly two dozen nations to expel over 150 Russian diplomats. Suzan Fraser And Ayse Wieting,, "Turkey, Russia deepen ties amid troubled relations with West," 2 Apr. 2018 During the same timeframe, Iranian intelligence officials were also directly approaching US CIA officers, trying to recruit them to be double agents. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "How did Iran find CIA spies? They Googled it," 2 Nov. 2018 The former Russian double agent and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, were attacked in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4 and found slumped over on a park bench. Washington Post, "World Digest: May 18, 2018," 18 May 2018 The former double agent and his daughter are at the center of a growing diplomatic dispute between Russia and Western powers. NBC News, "Yulia Skripal, daughter of Russian ex-spy poisoned in U.K., no longer in critical condition," 29 Mar. 2018 Once a double agent presented information about a website the agent had been directed to in order to communicate with the CIA, Iranian intelligence apparently used aspects of the URL to search for other, similar websites. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "How did Iran find CIA spies? They Googled it," 2 Nov. 2018 Britain said that Russia used A-234, which is from a class of nerve agents known as Novichok, to poison ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England, on March 4. Vladimir Isachenkov,, "Russian says secret Cold War lab developed poison used in England," 23 Apr. 2018 Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in a Facebook post called the pets who lived at former double agent’s home ‘‘important evidence’’ in the case., "Poisoned ex-spy in UK no longer in critical condition, hospital says," 7 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'double agent.' 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 double agent

1935, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

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The first known use of double agent was in 1935

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double agent


English Language Learners Definition of double agent

: a spy who pretends to spy for one government while actually spying for another

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