spy

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Related to spied: espionage

spy (up)on someone or something

to watch someone or something to learn secret or concealed information. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) Are you spying upon me? I wasn't spying on you! I was just trying to see who you were.
See also: on, spy

spy on

Secretly or furtively observe someone or something, as in The children loved spying on the grownups, or The company sent him to spy on the competitor's sales force. [Early 1600s]
See also: on, spy

ˌspy out the ˈland

find out about a situation, a place, an organization, etc. before you make a decision: The manager is sending Mark to Iceland to spy out the land. He wants to know whether we can do business there.
See also: land, out, spy

spy on

or spy upon
v.
To observe someone or something secretly and closely: A detective had been spying on the mayor's every move for months. The children spied upon their neighbors from the bushes along the property line.
See also: on, spy

spy out

v.
1. To observe some place secretly and closely: The troops spied out the cave and decided it was safe to hide there. The explorers sent a scout into the valley to spy it out before descending.
2. To discover something by observing secretly and closely: Try to spy out what's going on on those rooftops. We followed the other teams' strategies carefully to spy them out.
See also: out, spy
References in periodicals archive ?
It is basically an interesting commentary about how the Chinese government spied on its own people during this time and what methods were used to make such spying effective in maintaining the security of the government.
It did seem, however, to switch from ideologically committed agents to those who spied for money: the U.
has spied on its enemies since the days of George Washington (who recruited spies for the Revolutionary Army), the Central Intelligence Agency, the government's most famous spy agency, was only established in 1947.
In Archer's reformulation, the specular processes by which courtiers spied and were spied upon - reflecting the paranoia of early modern subjectivity as described by Elias, Foucault, and Lacan - drew both the Renaissance courtier and the absolute monarch into contingent social relationships based on the gathering and use of information.
Even though he spied for a foreign power, that foreign power is neither an enemy nor a rival of the U.
During World War II a number of individuals were recruited by the Germans to spy on Britain, who then in turn, spied against Germany.
Edgar Hoover, the agency routinely spied on American citizens--eventually surveilling and compiling dossiers on a good bulk of the American political, entertainment, and literary establishments.
I have never spied on anybody, and I am personally offended.
The widely reported news that the CIA and National Security Agency (NSA) spied on and bugged the Swiss hotel rooms of Japanese trade negotiators in 1995 fails to interest Fialka.