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EtymologyEdit

Recorded since 1793, borrowed from French espionnage, from Middle French espionner (to spy), from Old French espion (spy), itself probably from a Germanic source (akin to Old High German spehon (spy)), possibly via Italian spione (from spia). More at spy.

PronunciationEdit

 
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NounEdit

espionage (countable and uncountable, plural espionages)

  1. The act or process of learning secret information through clandestine means.
    • 2003 June 20, Andrea Taylor as Clover and Katie Leigh as Alexandra “Alex”, “Totally Switched”, in Totally Spies!, season 2, episode 19, written by Joseph Purdy, Teletoon, Marathon Media:
      What a freak show! I mean, how often do you meet a wrestling librarian?
      Yeah, about as often as you meet a high schoolgirl involved in international espionage… Okay, bad example.

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