spy

Definitions

  • The Spy in Custody. 58
    The Spy in Custody. 58
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v spy secretly collect sensitive or classified information; engage in espionage "spy for the Russians"
    • v spy watch, observe, or inquire secretly
    • v spy catch sight of
    • v spy catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes "he caught sight of the king's men coming over the ridge"
    • n spy (military) a secret agent hired by a state to obtain information about its enemies or by a business to obtain industrial secrets from competitors
    • n spy a secret watcher; someone who secretly watches other people "my spies tell me that you had a good time last night"
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Additional illustrations & photos:

"Be still! Be still! thou art by Michael spied!" "Be still! Be still! thou art by Michael spied!"

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: From Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me — In the U.S., "shag" is far less offensive than in other English-speaking countries. Singapore briefly forced a title change to "The Spy Who Shioked Me." ("Shioked" means "treated nicely.")
    • Spy (Mil) A person sent secretly into an enemy's camp, territory, or fortifications, to inspect his works, ascertain his strength, movements, or designs, and to communicate such intelligence to the proper officer.
    • Spy One who keeps a constant watch of the conduct of others. "These wretched spies of wit."
    • Spy To discover by close search or examination. "Look about with your eyes; spy what things are to be reformed in the church of England."
    • Spy To explore; to view, inspect, and examine secretly, as a country; -- usually with out. "Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof."
    • Spy To gain sight of; to discover at a distance, or in a state of concealment; to espy; to see. "One, in reading, skipped over all sentences where he spied a note of admiration."
    • v. i Spy To search narrowly; to scrutinize. "It is my nature's plague
      To spy into abuses."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Eugene-Francois Midocq, a French thief and outlaw, evaded the police for years, turned police spy, joined the force as a detective, and ultimately used his knowledge of crime to establish a new crime-fighting organization, the Surete.
    • spy To discover at a distance, or from a position of concealment; gain sight of; see; espy.
    • spy To discover by close search or examination; gain a knowledge of by artifice.
    • spy To explore; view, inspect, or examine secretly, as a country: usually with out.
    • spy To ask; inquire; question.
    • spy To search narrowly; scrutinize; pry.
    • spy To play the spy; exercise surveillance.
    • n spy A person who keeps a constant watch on the actions, motions, conduct, etc., of others; one who secretly watches what is going on.
    • n spy A secret emissary who goes into an enemy's camp or territory to inspect his works, ascertain his strength and his intentions, watch his movements, and report thereon to the proper officer. By the laws of war among all civilized nations a spy is liable to capital punishment.
    • n spy The pilot of a vessel.
    • n spy Au advanced guard; a forerunner.
    • n spy [In the following passage, spy is supposed by some to mean that which precedes and announces the time for the assassination of Banquo, by others the very eye, the exact moment.
    • n spy A glance; look; peep.
    • n spy An eye.
    • n spy Synonyms Emissary, Spy (see emissary), scout.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Spy spī one sent into an enemy's country or camp to find out their strength, &c.: one who keeps a watch on others: one who secretly conveys information
    • v.t Spy to see: to discover, generally at a distance: to discover by close search: to inspect secretly:—pa.t. and pa.p. spied
    • ***

Quotations

  • Jane Austen
    Jane%20Austen
    “Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.”
  • William Shakespeare
    William%20Shakespeare
    “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. spien, espien, OF. espier, F. épier, OHG. spehōn, G. spähen,; akin to L. specere, to see, Skr. spaç,. √ 169. Cf. Espy (v. t.) Aspect Auspice Circumspect Conspicuous Despise Frontispiece Inspect Prospect Respite Scope Specimen Spectacle Specter Speculate Spice Spite Suspicion

Usage

In literature:

This we knew from our spies.
"Hurricane Hurry" by W.H.G. Kingston
Perhaps he had a spy-glass, too!
"Patsy" by S. R. Crockett
I don't see why we can't help catch German spies in New York just as well as in Pennsylvania.
"The Secret Wireless" by Lewis E. Theiss
Germans have spies "piking off" our Embassies in Paris, London and Petrograd.
"Face to Face with Kaiserism" by James W. Gerard
This spying is kept up for over a week, the stranger mysteriously disappearing each day at the same place.
"Oswald Langdon" by Carson Jay Lee
But Carlos had become an expert crook, and he was generally flush with ill-gotten gains, so he was able to put spies on Frank.
"Frank Merriwell Down South" by Burt L. Standish
You may meet other spies and have reason to suspect them to be such.
"Dave Darrin on Mediterranean Service" by H. Irving Hancock
And at that meeting, and others immediately following it, no word was said by either concerning "spying" or Mr. Egbert Phillips.
"Fair Harbor" by Joseph Crosby Lincoln
I am afraid you are new at spying, too.
"The Liberty Boys Running the Blockade" by Harry Moore
But more still had he learnt, for he had a spy upon her acts.
"The White Chief" by Mayne Reid
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In poetry:

Thus, my commission to fulfill,
I spy vat vill be found;
One half your army vill be kill,
T'other vill be drown'd.
"Ca N'ira Pas" by Charles Dibdin
You yet may spy the Fawn at play,
The Hare upon the Green;
But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
Will never more be seen.
"Lucy Gray [or Solitude]" by William Wordsworth
O then bespied her ain dear lord,
As he came o'er the lee;
He spied his castle all in blaze
Sae far as he could see.
"Edom O'Gordon" by Henry Morley
I often wonder as I look,
And those strange features spy,
If I, in there, think I'm as plain
As I, out here, think I.
"The Looking Glass" by C J Dennis
Why look on any from on high
Because thou knowest more?
Thou need'st but look abroad, to spy
Ten thousand thee before.
"After Thomas Kempis" by George MacDonald
Oh, then he spied her ain dear lord,
As he came o'er the lea;
He saw his castle all in a flame,
As far as he could see.
"Edom O' Gordon" by Andrew Lang

In news:

The True Story of the D-Day Spies.
Spy thriller 'The Double,' out on DVD this week, worth a double take .
This isn't your first book about spies.
NYC man spied on women's dressing room .
PARAMUS — A New York City man was arrested last week after spying on several women trying on bathing suits at a local department store, police said.
In the 21st century, we have drones: unmanned vehicles that can act as spies or even launch assaults.
It's reality, says former spy Mike Frost in an interview broadcast on 60 Minutes on Sunday, Feb 27.
We hear that when the CIA releases its secret files on covert actions, like spying on Anderson's staff, Hume's code name will be revealed: " Eggnog ".
We hear that when the CIA releases its secret files on covert actions, like spying on Anderson's staff, Hume's code name will be revealed: "Eggnog".
NSA won't say how many Americans they've spied on.
Kashmir activist who lied about his links to Pakistan's spy service to be sentenced in Va. National Portrait Gallery opens new exhibits featuring Civil War art from North, South.
Friending A Spy On Facebook.
Paul Shaughnessy spied an old show rod by chance when he went to buy an engine, which turned out to be an ex-Car Craft cover car.
A spy said the "Top Chef" star was so " grating " as a host that a guest in the front row stood up and pledged to give the non-profit Moth $1,000 if she left -- and she agreed.
But it's not meant to detect dangerous insurgents, powerful explosives or undercover spies.
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In science:

The transition is driven by resonating valence bond fluctuations in the singlet sector while the triplet spi n gap remains finite across the transition.
Melting of a frustration-induced dimer crystal and incommensurability in the J_1-J_2 two-leg ladder
Electric field is generally very sensitive to the value of spi n parameter which is not that surprising since the field itself has gravitomagn etic origin by which we mean that it arises from the interplay between the background magnetic field and spin induced frame-dragging effect.
Transition from regular to chaotic motion in black hole magnetospheres
One unique feature of the prototype will be the suspension platform interferometer (SPI).
Suspension platform interferometer for the AEI 10\,m prototype: concept, design and optical layout
The purpose of the SPI is to monitor and stabilise the relative motion between three seismically isolated optical tables.
Suspension platform interferometer for the AEI 10\,m prototype: concept, design and optical layout
The design goal of the SPI is to stabilise longitudinal differential displacements to a level of 100 pm/√Hz between 10 mHz and 100 Hz and relative angular noise of 10 nrad/√Hz in the same frequency band.
Suspension platform interferometer for the AEI 10\,m prototype: concept, design and optical layout
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