- to see at a distance; catch sight of.
Origin of espy
1175–1225; Middle English espyen < Old French espier ≪ Germanic; compare German spähen to spy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
discern, descry, discover, perceive, make out.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for espied
But just then he espied the transfigured face of the girl in pink.A Breath of Prairie and other stories
Espied for a moment, it was immediately afterwards lost in the darkness.His Masterpiece
It was in a pause for breath that she raised her infuriated head and espied the intruder.The Night Riders
In the distance down one of these he espied some slaves at work.Captain Blood
As they approached the tan-vats he espied a carbine lying on the ground.Three Years in the Federal Cavalry
- (tr) to catch sight of or perceive (something distant or previously unnoticed); detectto espy a ship on the horizon
C14: from Old French espier to spy, of Germanic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for espied
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- American meteorologist who is credited with the first correct explanation of the role heat plays in cloud formation and growth. His use of the telegraph in relaying meteorological observations and tracking storms laid the foundation for modern weather forecasting.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.