: to watch secretly usually for hostile purposes
: to search or look for intensively —usually used with out
spy out places fit for vending … goods—S. E. Morison
: to watch secretly as a spy
: one that spies:
: one who keeps secret watch on a person or thing to obtain information
: a person employed by one nation to secretly convey classified information of strategic importance to another nation
also : a person who conveys the trade secrets of one company to another
: an act of spying
Verb They were accused of spying for a foreign government. I spy a motel off in the distance, so let's spend the night there. Noun He was a spy for the CIA. My coworker is a spy for the boss.
Recent Examples on the Web
VerbOne of these tension-raising events focused on the U.S. Air Force’s shooting down a Chinese balloon – allegedly used for spying – that flew across the U.S. in early 2023. —Carla Martinez Machain, The Conversation, 26 May 2023 Washington has aimed to stabilize ties between the two global competitors after relations were derailed in recent months amid disputes over spying allegations, Taiwan’s sovereignty and US technology export controls. —Philip Heijmans, Bloomberg.com, 25 May 2023 The Pentagon has taken great pains to protect its new, most-advanced bomber from spying by China. —Margaret Stafford, Fortune, 5 May 2023 However, the social media video does not show him or Hawley, a Missouri Republican, presenting evidence related to spying. —USA TODAY, 4 May 2023 Infrared light is invisible to the human eye, allowing Webb to spy otherwise invisible aspects of the universe. —Ashley Strickland, CNN, 11 Apr. 2023 The American journalist detained in Russia on spying allegations may have been attempting to report on the Wagner mercenary group and speak to employees at one of the country’s largest tank production facilities, a Russian reporter familiar with his plans told NBC News on Friday. —Matthew Bodner, NBC News, 1 Apr. 2023 The couple dated for almost two years, with Wilde frequently spied wearing the pop star’s tour merch. —Kerry Mcdermott, Vogue, 27 Mar. 2023 Investigators’ testimony provided an unusual window into the secretive Intelligence Bureau, which has been criticized at times for compiling information on antiwar protesters and spying broadly on Muslims in New York and New Jersey. —Colin Moynihan, New York Times, 23 Mar. 2023
NounSeason 14 will also introduce a new spy, Zara Khan, voiced by Natalie Dew. —Christian Holub, EW.com, 15 May 2023 Officials were stonewalling, hiding behind claims that refugees might include communists and spies. —Smithsonian Magazine, 15 May 2023 This is a series that embraces its main theme (family), its larger-than-life characters (Vin Diesel's Dom Torretto has essentially become an on-screen spy/racing/action deity), and utterly ridiculous action sequences for one goal and one goal only—to entertain audiences. —Evan Romano, Men's Health, 13 May 2023 Employees at foreign companies in China could be targeted as spies for normal business practices such as gathering information on competitors, markets and industry. —Lauren Hirsch, New York Times, 12 May 2023 Solar noon is an advantageous time for spy and other imaging satellites in sun-synchronous orbit, an orbital path that runs north-south over the North and South Poles. —Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 2 May 2023 After convincing him that Iran wasn't responsible, Kate receives intel from a Russian spy confirming that Roman Lenkov, the leader of a Russian mercenary group, was hired to carry out the attack. —Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, 28 Apr. 2023 It is not owned by the Chinese government, which has become a potent rallying cry for the GOP thanks in part to its spy balloons and saber-rattling toward self-governing Taiwan. —Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2023 The first chapter of Citadel’s global takeover—or so Amazon Prime Video desperately hopes—is here, with the rollout of the first season of the spy thriller starring Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. —Lauren Puckett-pope, ELLE, 28 Apr. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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