spy
Pronunciation Noun

spy (plural spies)

  1. A person who secretly watches and examines the actions of other individuals or organizations and gathers information on them (usually to gain an advantage).
Synonyms Translations Verb

spy (spies, present participle spying; past and past participle spied)

  1. (intransitive) To act as a spy#Noun|spy.
    During the Cold War, Russia and America would each spy on each other for recon.
  2. (transitive) To spot; to catch sight of.
    I think I can spy that hot guy coming over here.
    • RQ
      One in reading, skipped over all sentences where he spied a note of admiration.
    • Look about with your eyes; spy what things are to be reformed in the church of England.
  3. (intransitive) To search narrowly; to scrutinize.
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iii]:
      It is my nature's plague / To spy into abuses.
  4. (transitive) To explore; to see; to view; inspect and examine secretly, as a country.
Translations Translations Related terms


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