spy

[ spahy ]
/ spaɪ /
See synonyms for: spy / spied / spies / spying on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural spies.

verb (used without object), spied, spy·ing.

verb (used with object), spied, spy·ing.

QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of spy

1200–50; (v.) Middle English spien, aphetic variant of espien to espy; (noun) Middle English, aphetic variant of espy a spy <Old French espie

OTHER WORDS FROM spy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for spy

British Dictionary definitions for spy

spy
/ (spaɪ) /

noun plural spies

a person employed by a state or institution to obtain secret information from rival countries, organizations, companies, etc
a person who keeps secret watch on others
obsolete a close view

verb spies, spying or spied

(intr usually foll by on) to keep a secret or furtive watch (on)
(intr) to engage in espionage
(tr) to catch sight of; descry

Word Origin for spy

C13 spien, from Old French espier, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German spehōn, Middle Dutch spien
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