Definition for SPY

SPY, n. [It. spia; Fr. espion; Sp. espia; D. spiede; G. späher; Dan. spejder; W. yspeiaw, to espy, to explore; yspeithiaw, to look about; yspaith, that is open, visible; paith, an opening, a prospect, a glance. Class Bd; unless the word is a contraction, and of Class Sg.]

  1. A person sent into an enemy's camp to inspect their works, ascertain their strength and their intentions, to watch their movements, and secretly communicate intelligence to the proper officer. By the laws of war among all civilized nations, a spy is subjected to capital punishment.
  2. A person deputed to watch the conduct of others. – Dryden.
  3. One who watches the conduct of others. These wretched spies of wit. – Dryden.

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