spy·​mas·​ter | \ ˈspī-ˌma-stər How to pronounce spymaster (audio) \

Definition of spymaster

: the head of a ring of spies : a director of intelligence

Examples of spymaster in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Eventually Smiley does battle with the mole’s Soviet spymaster, Karla, his nemesis in the covert world. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Appreciation: John le Carré, 1931-2020," 24 Dec. 2020 There was the hero George Smiley (nothing like the paper thin heroes of Ludlum and Clancy) who was seeking to unmask a Soviet mole, planted by his nemesis, a shadowy Soviet spymaster named Karla. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "What Reading le Carré Taught Me About My Father," 14 Dec. 2020 Martin Kurtz, Israeli spymaster, recruits Charlie as a double agent. Bethanne Patrick, Los Angeles Times, "10 ways of getting to know John le Carré," 14 Dec. 2020 Each team’s spymaster knows the agents’ secret identities but can only give one-word clues to their teammates. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "From Guess Who and Catlan to flinging burritos, here are the best board games for family game night," 3 Apr. 2020 Shiite militias loyal to the Iranian spymaster Qassim Suleimani — who was killed earlier this month in an American drone strike — exploited the post-2011 vacuum to spread their theocratic influence over Syria, Iraq and Yemen. New York Times, "Mohammed bin Zayed’s Dark Vision of the Middle East’s Future," 9 Jan. 2020 One of the spymaster’s best agents, Kimball O’Hara, has gone missing in India. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "Sherlock Holmes can never die. New books about the great sleuth are making sure of it.," 27 Nov. 2019 Thatcher, repeatedly subjected to the whim of the powerful, has been instructed by a ruthless spymaster to detect the king’s true religious beliefs: Protestant or Catholic? Katherine A. Powers, Washington Post, "For your playlist: The best new audiobooks of the month," 3 Mar. 2020 Washington’s skills as a diplomat, spymaster and public relations whiz, Coe suggests, were easily as important as his military talents in defeating the British. Marjoleine Kars, Washington Post, "A Washington biography that skips his manliness and reveals the man," 28 Feb. 2020

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

1938, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of spymaster was in 1938

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spymaster.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spymaster. Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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