• A person who secretly watches and examines the actions of other individuals or organizations and gathers information on them (usually to gain an advantage).



Similar words


  • From Middle English spien, aphetic variant of earlier espien, from Old French espier ("to spy"), from Frankish *spehōn ("to spy"), from Proto-Germanic *spehōną ("to see, look"), from Proto-Indo-European *speḱ- ("to look"). Akin to German spähen ("to spy"), Dutch spieden ("to spy").
  • The noun displaced native , which was also the word for "mirror." In this sense, the verb displaced , which was also the word for "to watch" and became the Modern English word show.

Modern English dictionary

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