Everybody had stayed away till then, to let us have time to 'spy out the land and possess it.'
Why, he's heard we're married, an' come over here to spy out the land.
Aren't his servants come to you to search, and to overthrow, and to spy out the land?
He's promised me a dollar if I can spy out where he can meet her alone.
The messengers sent to spy out the marsh had returned with a half-frozen prisoner.
I wonder if you can spy out Grip and the Captain in the picture.
They spy out what their foe is doing, and so far as their power permits prevent him from seeing what they are doing.
Then there is a new book, which you may spy out if you will look sharp.
He never spoke to her, but used to spy out her walks, and often went near her house.
A committee was sent by the Assembly to spy out his conduct.
mid-13c., from Old French espier "to spy," probably from Frankish *spehon, from Proto-Germanic *spekh- (cf. Old High German *spehon "to look out for, scout, spy," German spähen "to spy," Middle Dutch spien), the Germanic survivals of the productive PIE root *spek- "to look" (see scope (n.1)).
mid-13c., "one who spies on another," From Old French espie, probably from a Germanic source (see spy (v.)).