espionage

noun es·pi·o·nage \ ˈe-spē-ə-ˌnäzh , -ˌnäj , -nij , Canadian also -ˌnazh ; ˌe-spē-ə-ˈnäzh ; i-ˈspē-ə-nij \

Definition of espionage

:the practice of spying or using spies to obtain information about the plans and activities especially of a foreign government or a competing company
  • industrial espionage

Examples of espionage in a Sentence

  1. He was charged with several counts of espionage.

  2. the acts of espionage on behalf of the Confederacy carried on by Belle Boyd and Rose Greenhow

Recent Examples of espionage from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of espionage

French espionnage, from Middle French, from espionner to spy, from espion spy, from Old Italian spione, from spia, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German spehōn to spy — more at spy


ESPIONAGE Defined for English Language Learners

espionage

noun

Definition of espionage for English Language Learners

  • : the things that are done to find out secrets from enemies or competitors : the activity of spying


ESPIONAGE Defined for Kids

espionage

noun es·pi·o·nage \ ˈe-spē-ə-ˌnäzh \

Definition of espionage for Students

:the practice of spying :the use of spies

Law Dictionary

espionage

noun es·pi·o·nage \ ˈes-pē-ə-ˌnäzh, -ˌnäj, -nij \

legal Definition of espionage

:the practice of gathering, transmitting, or losing through gross negligence information relating to the defense of the U.S. with the intent that or with reason to believe that the information will be used to the injury of the U.S. or the advantage of a foreign nation


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