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SPY (spied)

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does spy mean? 

SPY (noun)
  The noun SPY has 2 senses:

1. (military) a secret agent hired by a state to obtain information about its enemies or by a business to obtain industrial secrets from competitors
2. a secret watcher; someone who secretly watches other people

  Familiarity information: SPY used as a noun is rare.


SPY (verb)
  The verb SPY has 3 senses:

1. catch sight of
2. watch, observe, or inquire secretly
3. secretly collect sensitive or classified information; engage in espionage

  Familiarity information: SPY used as a verb is uncommon.


 Dictionary entry details 


SPY (noun)


Sense 1spy [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(military) a secret agent hired by a state to obtain information about its enemies or by a business to obtain industrial secrets from competitors

Classified under:

Nouns denoting people

Synonyms:

spy; undercover agent

Hypernyms ("spy" is a kind of...):

intelligence agent; intelligence officer; operative; secret agent (a person secretly employed in espionage for a government)

Domain category:

armed forces; armed services; military; military machine; war machine (the military forces of a nation)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "spy"):

counterspy; mole (a spy who works against enemy espionage)

double agent (a spy who works for two mutually antagonistic countries)

espionage agent (someone employed to spy on another country or business competitor)

foreign agent (a spy for a foreign country)

infiltrator (someone who takes up a position surreptitiously for the purpose of espionage)

sleeper (a spy or saboteur or terrorist planted in an enemy country who lives there as a law-abiding citizen until activated by a prearranged signal)

Instance hyponyms:

Margarete Gertrud Zelle; Mata Hari (Dutch dancer who was executed by the French as a German spy in World War I (1876-1917))


Sense 2spy [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A secret watcher; someone who secretly watches other people

Classified under:

Nouns denoting people

Context example:

my spies tell me that you had a good time last night

Hypernyms ("spy" is a kind of...):

looker; spectator; viewer; watcher; witness (a close observer; someone who looks at something (such as an exhibition of some kind))

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "spy"):

snoop; snooper (a spy who makes uninvited inquiries into the private affairs of others)

shadow; shadower; tail (a spy employed to follow someone and report their movements)


SPY (verb)


Sense 1spy [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Catch sight of

Classified under:

Verbs of seeing, hearing, feeling

Synonyms:

descry; espy; spot; spy

Hypernyms (to "spy" is one way to...):

sight (catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Somebody ----s somebody


Sense 2spy [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Watch, observe, or inquire secretly

Classified under:

Verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing

Synonyms:

sleuth; snoop; spy; stag

Hypernyms (to "spy" is one way to...):

monitor; ride herd on; supervise (keep tabs on; keep an eye on; keep under surveillance)

"Spy" entails doing...:

enquire; inquire; investigate (conduct an inquiry or investigation of)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s
Somebody ----s PP


Sense 3spy [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Secretly collect sensitive or classified information; engage in espionage

Classified under:

Verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing

Context example:

spy for the Russians

Hypernyms (to "spy" is one way to...):

enquire; inquire; investigate (conduct an inquiry or investigation of)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s
Somebody ----s PP


 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
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 SPY: related words searches 

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