Definition of spy verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    spy

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//spaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spaɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they spy
    BrE BrE//spaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spaɪ//
     
    he / she / it spies
    BrE BrE//spaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spaɪz//
     
    past simple spied
    BrE BrE//spaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spaɪd//
     
    past participle spied
    BrE BrE//spaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spaɪd//
     
    -ing form spying
    BrE BrE//ˈspaɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspaɪɪŋ//
     
    Terrorism
     
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  1. 1[intransitive] to collect secret information about another country, organization or person He spied for his government for more than ten years. See related entries: Terrorism
  2. 2[transitive] spy somebody/something (literary or formal) to suddenly see or notice somebody/something In the distance we spied the Pacific for the first time.
  3. Word Origin Middle English: shortening of Old French espie ‘espying’, espier ‘espy’, of Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin specere ‘behold, look’.Idioms to collect information before deciding what to do Phrasal Verbsspy on somebodyspy somethingout
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spy