spy on


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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

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