[ ih-spahy ]
See synonyms for espy on
verb (used with object),es·pied, es·py·ing.
  1. to see at a distance; catch sight of.

Origin of espy

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English espien, espyen, from Old French espier, ultimately from Germanic; compare German spähen “to look out”; see also skeptic, speculate

Other words for espy

Other words from espy

  • un·es·pied, adjective

Words Nearby espy

Other definitions for Espy (2 of 2)

[ es-pee ]

  1. James Pol·lard [pol-erd], /ˈpɒl ərd/, 1785–1860, U.S. meteorologist. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use espy in a sentence

  • But in 2003, Foxx hilariously sang a tribute to Serena Williams at the espy Awards.

  • FREDDY espy PLIMPTON People used to ask me what George was like when he woke up in the morning?

    Partying with George Plimpton | Nelson Aldrich | October 26, 2008 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • It is proposed to form this ascending column of air by kindling large fires which, Mr. espy says, are known to produce rain.

    The Rain Cloud | Anonymous
  • He would espy the beauty of an old binding through any amount of abrasion and laceration.

    There and Back | George MacDonald
  • He had such remarkable eyesight that he could espy the ear of a squirrel projecting above the highest limb of a tall white oak.

British Dictionary definitions for espy


/ (ɪˈspaɪ) /

verb-pies, -pying or -pied
  1. (tr) to catch sight of or perceive (something distant or previously unnoticed); detect: to espy a ship on the horizon

Origin of espy

C14: from Old French espier to spy, of Germanic origin

Derived forms of espy

  • espier, noun

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

Scientific definitions for Espy


[ ĕs ]

  1. 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.