Last modified on 2 September 2014, at 06:58

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English spien, aphetic variant of earlier espien "to espy", from Old French espier (to spy) (espie "a spy"), from Frankish *spehōn (to spy) (possibly through a Vulgar Latin *spiāre), from Proto-Germanic *spehōną (to see, look), from Proto-Indo-European *spek- (to look). Akin to Old High German spehōn, spehhōn "to scout, look out for, spy" (German spähen "to spy"), Middle Dutch spien "to spy", Dutch bespieden "to spy on".

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

spy (plural spies)

  1. A person who secretly watches and examines the actions of other individuals or organizations and gathers information on them (usually to gain an advantage).
    • 2013 June 29, “Travels and travails”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 55: 
      Even without hovering drones, a lurking assassin, a thumping score and a denouement, the real-life story of Edward Snowden, a rogue spy on the run, could be straight out of the cinema. But, as with Hollywood, the subplots and exotic locations may distract from the real message: America’s discomfort and its foes’ glee.

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VerbEdit

spy (third-person singular simple present spies, present participle spying, simple past and past participle spied)

  1. (intransitive) To act as a spy.
    During the Cold War, Russia and America would each spy on each other for recon.
  2. (transitive) To spot; to catch sight of.
    I think I can spy that hot guy coming over here.
    • Jonathan Swift
      One in reading, skipped over all sentences where he spied a note of admiration.
    • Latimer
      Look about with your eyes; spy what things are to be reformed in the church of England.
  3. (intransitive) To search narrowly; to scrutinize.
    • Shakespeare
      It is my nature's plague / To spy into abuses.
  4. (transitive) To explore; to view; inspect and examine secretly, as a country.
    • Bible, Numbers xxi. 32
      Moses sent to spy Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof.

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Norwegian BokmålEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old Norse spýja, from Proto-Germanic *spīwaną, from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ptyēw- (to spit, vomit). Compare Swedish and Danish spy, Icelandic spýja, English spew, Dutch spuwen, German speien.

NounEdit

spy n (definite singular spyet; uncountable)

  1. barf, vomit

VerbEdit

spy (present tense spyr; past tense spydde; past participle spydd)

  1. barf, throw up, vomit

SwedishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old Norse spýja, from Proto-Germanic *spīwaną, from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ptyēw- (to spit, vomit). Compare Norwegian and Danish spy, Icelandic spýja, English spew, Dutch spuwen, German speien.

VerbEdit

spy

  1. to throw up, to vomit

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