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Noun, Verb (usu participle)


Noun Spy has 2 senses

Verb Spy has 4 senses


Spyv. t. [OE. spien, espien, OF. espier, F. épier, OHG. speh, G. spähen; akin to L. specere to see, Skr. spa. Espy, v. t., Aspect, Auspice, Circumspect, Conspicuous, Despise, Frontispiece, Inspect, Prospect, Respite, Scope, Specimen, Spectacle, Specter, Speculate, Spice, Spite, Suspicion.].
  •  To gain sight of; to discover at a distance, or in a state of concealment; to espy; to see.  [1913 Webster]
    "One, in reading, skipped over all sentences where he spied a note of admiration."  [1913 Webster]
  •  To discover by close search or examination.  [1913 Webster]
    "Look about with your eyes; spy what things are to be reformed in the church of England."  [1913 Webster]
  •  To explore; to view, inspect, and examine secretly, as a country; -- usually with out.  [1913 Webster]
    "Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof."  [1913 Webster]
Spyv. i. 
     To search narrowly; to scrutinize.  [1913 Webster]
    "It is my nature's plague
    To spy into abuses.
    "  [1913 Webster]
Spyn. [See Spy, v., and cf. Espy, n.].
  •  One who keeps a constant watch of the conduct of others.  Dryden.  [1913 Webster]
  •  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.  [1913 Webster]
Spy money, money paid to a spy; the reward for private or secret intelligence regarding the enemy. -- Spy Wednesday (Eccl.), the Wednesday immediately preceding the festival of Easter; -- so called in allusion to the betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot.
Syn. -- See Emissary, and Scout.


Spy, n. & v.
--n. (pl. spies)
1 a person who secretly collects and reports information on the activities, movements, etc., of an enemy, competitor, etc.
2 a person who keeps watch on others, esp. furtively.
--v. (spies, spied)
1 tr. discern or make out, esp. by careful observation (spied a house in the distance).
2 intr. (often foll. by on) act as a spy, keep a close and secret watch.
3 intr. (often foll. by into) pry.

I spy a children's game of guessing a visible object from the initial letter of its name. spy-master colloq. the head of an organization of spies. spy out explore or discover, esp. secretly.
ME f. OF espie espying, espier espy f. Gmc



CIA man, agent, be vigilant, be watchful, beagle, behold, betrayer, blab, blabber, blabberer, blabbermouth, bug, case, catch sight of, clap eyes on, cloak-and-dagger operative, counterintelligence agent, counterspy, delator, descry, detect, detective, dig out, discern, discover, distinguish, double agent, espionage agent, espy, eye, eyeball, ferret out, fink, fish out, follow, gaze at, glimpse, grub up, have a looksee, have in sight, hold in view, hunt out, identify, informer, inside man, intelligence agent, investigator, keep in sight, keep in view, keep under observation, ken, lay eyes on, look after, look at, look on, look upon, make a reconnaissance, make out, meddle, military-intelligence man, narc, naval-intelligence man, nose, notice, observe, operative, peacher, peek, peep, perceive, pick out, pick up, play the spy, pry, pry out, put under surveillance, recognize, reconnoiter, reconnoiterer, regard, root out, scout, scout out, search out, secret agent, see, sense, sight, sleuth, snitch, snitcher, snoop, spook, spot, spotter, spy out, spy upon, spy-catcher, squealer, stag, stake out, stool pigeon, stoolie, take in, talebearer, tattler, tattletale, telltale, twig, undercover man, view, watch, whistle-blower, witness




N warning, early warning, caution, caveat, notice, premonition, premonishment, prediction, contraindication, lesson, dehortation, admonition, monition, alarm, handwriting on the wall, mene mene tekel upharsin, red flag, yellow flag, fog-signal, foghorn, siren, monitor, warning voice, Cassandra, signs of the times, Mother Cary's chickens, stormy petrel, bird of ill omen, gathering clouds, clouds in the horizon, death watch, watchtower, beacon, signal post, lighthouse, sentinel, sentry, watch, watchman, watch and ward, watchdog, bandog, housedog, patrol, patrolman, vedette, picket, bivouac, scout, spy, spial, undercover agent, mole, plainclothesman, advanced guard, rear guard, lookout, cautiousness, monitor, guard camera, radar, AWACS, spy satellite, spy-in-the- sky, U2 plane, spy plane, warning, premonitory, monitory, cautionary, admonitory, admonitive, sematic, warned, forewarned, on one's guard, in terrorem, Int, beware!, ware!, take care!, look out!, fore (golf), mind what you are about!, take care what you are about!, mind!, ne reveillez pas le chat qui dort, don't wake a sleeping cat, foenum habet in cornu, caveat actor, le silence du people est la legon des rois, verbum sat sapienti, a word to the wise is sufficient, un averti en vaut deux.


VB see, behold, discern, perceive, have in sight, descry, sight, make out, discover, distinguish, recognize, spy, espy, ken, get a sight of, have a sight of, catch a sight of, get a glimpse of, have a glimpse of, catch a glimpse of, command a view of, witness, contemplate, speculate, cast the eyes on, set the eyes on, be a spectator of, look on, see sights, see at a glance, look, view, eye, lift up the eyes, open one's eye, look at, look on, look upon, look over, look about one, look round, survey, scan, inspect, run the eye over, run the eye through, reconnoiter, glance round, glance on, glance over turn one's looks upon, bend one's looks upon, direct the eyes to, turn the eyes on, cast a glance, observe, watch, see with one's own eyes, watch for, peep, peer, pry, take a peep, play at bopeep, look full in the face, look hard at, look intently, strain one's eyes, fix the eyes upon, rivet the eyes upon, stare, gaze, pore over, gloat on, leer, ogle, glare, goggle, cock the eye, squint, gloat, look askance.


N spectator, beholder, observer, looker-on, onlooker, witness, eyewitness, bystander, passer by, sightseer, rubberneck, rubbernecker, spy, sentinel.


VB make inquiry, inquire, ask, seek, search, look for, look about for, look out for, scan, reconnoiter, explore, sound, rummage, ransack, pry, peer, look round, look over, go over, look through, go through, spy, overhaul, ask about, inquire about, scratch the head, slap the forehead, look into every hole and corner, peer into every hole and corner, pry into every hole and corner, nose, trace up, search out, hunt down, hunt out, fish out, ferret out, unearth, leave no stone unturned, seek a clue, seek a clew, hunt, track, trail, mouse, dodge, trace, follow the trail, follow the scent, pursue, beat up one's quarters, fish for, feel for, investigate, take up an inquiry, institute an inquiry, pursue an inquiry, follow up an inquiry, conduct an inquiry, carry on an inquiry, carry out an inquiry, prosecute an inquiry, look at, look into, preexamine, discuss, canvass, agitate, examine, study, consider, calculate, dip into, dive into, delve into, go deep into, make sure of, probe, sound, fathom, probe to the bottom, probe to the quick, scrutinize, analyze, anatomize, dissect, parse, resolve, sift, winnow, view in all its phases, try in all its phases, thresh out, bring in question, bring into question, subject to examination, put to the proof, audit, tax, pass in review, take into consideration, take counsel, question, demand, put the question, pop the question, propose the question, propound the question, moot the question, start the question, raise the question, stir the question, suggest the question, put forth the question, ventilate the question, grapple with the question, go into a question, question, put to the question, interrogate, pump, subject to interrogation, subject to examination, cross-question, cross-examine, press for an answer, give the third degree, put to the inquisition, dodge, catechize, require an answer, pick the brains of, suck the brains of, feel the pulse, get the lay of the land, see how the wind is blowing, put one's ear to the ground, be in question, undergo examination.


N information, enlightenment, acquaintance, knowledge, publicity, data, communication, intimation, notice, notification, enunciation, annunciation, announcement, communiqu_e, representation, round robin, presentment, case, estimate, specification, report, advice, monition, news, return, account, statement, mention, acquainting, instruction, outpouring, intercommunication, communicativeness, informant, authority, teller, intelligencer, reporter, exponent, mouthpiece, informer, eavesdropper, delator, detective, sleuth, mouchard, spy, newsmonger, messenger, amicus curiae, valet de place, cicerone, pilot, guide, guidebook, handbook, vade mecum, manual, map, plan, chart, gazetteer, itinerary, hint, suggestion, innuendo, inkling, whisper, passing word, word in the ear, subaudition, cue, byplay, gesture, gentle hint, broad hint, verbum sapienti, a word to the wise, insinuation, information theory, bit, byte, word, doubleword, quad word, paragraph, segment, magnetic media, paper medium, optical media, random access memory, RAM, read-only memory, ROM, write once read mostly memory, WORM, informed, communique, reported, published, expressive, explicit plain spoken, (artless), nuncupative, nuncupatory, declaratory, expository, enunciative, communicative, communicatory, from information received, a little bird told me, I heard it through the grapevine.


N messenger, envoy, emissary, legate, nuncio, internuncio, ambassador, marshal, flag bearer, herald, crier, trumpeter, bellman, pursuivant, parlementaire, apparitor, courier, runner, dak, estafette, Mercury, Iris, Ariel, commissionaire, errand boy, chore boy, newsboy, mail, overnight mail, express mail, next-day delivery, post, post office, letter bag, delivery service, United Parcel Service, UPS, Federal Express, Fedex, telegraph, telephone, cable, wire (electronic information transmission), carrier pigeon, (news) 532 reporter, gentleman of the press, representative of the press, penny-a-liner, special correspondent, own correspondent, spy, scout, informer.

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