espionage

play
noun es·pi·o·nage \ˈes-pē-ə-ˌnäzh, -ˌnäj, -nij, Canada also -ˌnazh; ˌes-pē-ə-ˈnäzh; is-ˈpē-ə-nij\

Definition of espionage

  1. :  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>

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


First Known Use: 1793


ESPIONAGE Defined for English Language Learners

espionage

play
noun es·pi·o·nage \ˈes-pē-ə-ˌnäzh, -ˌnäj, -nij, Canada also -ˌnazh; ˌes-pē-ə-ˈnäzh; is-ˈpē-ə-nij\

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

play
noun es·pi·o·nage \ˈe-spē-ə-ˌnäzh\

Definition of espionage for Students

  1. :  the practice of spying :  the use of spies


Law Dictionary

espionage

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

Legal Definition of espionage

  1. :  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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up espionage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to trick or confuse (someone)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • alphabet-magnets
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ