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It's part of a writer's profession, as it's part of a spy's profession, to prey on the community to which he's attached, to take away information - often in secret - and to translate that into intelligence for his masters, whether it's his readership or his spy masters. And I think that both professions are perhaps rather lonely.
John le Carre

Meaning of "spy" in the English dictionary

Dictionary
DICTIONARY
section

ETYMOLOGY OF THE WORD SPY

Spien, from Old French espier, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German spehōn, Middle Dutch spien.
info
Etymology is the study of the origin of words and their changes in structure and significance.
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PRONUNCIATION OF SPY

spy  [spaɪ] play
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GRAMMATICAL CATEGORY OF SPY

noun
adjective
verb
adverb
pronoun
preposition
conjunction
determiner
exclamation
Spy is a verb and can also act as a noun.
A noun is a type of word the meaning of which determines reality. Nouns provide the names for all things: people, objects, sensations, feelings, etc.

The verb is the part of the sentence that is conjugated and expresses action and state of being.

See the conjugation of the verb spy in English.

WHAT DOES SPY MEAN IN ENGLISH?

spy

Espionage

Espionage or spying involves a government or individual obtaining information considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, as it is taken for granted that it is unwelcome and in many cases illegal and punishable by law. It is a subset of "intelligence gathering", which otherwise may be conducted from public sources and using perfectly legal and ethical means. It is crucial to distinguish espionage from "intelligence" gathering, as the latter does not necessarily involve espionage, but often collates open-source information. Espionage is often part of an institutional effort by a government or commercial concern. However, the term is generally associated with state spying on potential or actual enemies primarily for military purposes. Spying involving corporations is known as industrial espionage. One of the most effective ways to gather data and information about the enemy is by infiltrating the enemy's ranks. This is the job of the spy. Spies can bring back all sorts of information concerning the size and strength of an enemy army.

Definition of spy in the English dictionary

The first definition of spy in the dictionary is a person employed by a state or institution to obtain secret information from rival countries, organizations, companies, etc. Other definition of spy is a person who keeps secret watch on others. Spy is also a close view.

CONJUGATION OF THE VERB TO SPY

PRESENT

Present
I spy
you spy
he/she/it spies
we spy
you spy
they spy
Present continuous
I am spying
you are spying
he/she/it is spying
we are spying
you are spying
they are spying
Present perfect
I have spied
you have spied
he/she/it has spied
we have spied
you have spied
they have spied
Present perfect continuous
I have been spying
you have been spying
he/she/it has been spying
we have been spying
you have been spying
they have been spying
Present tense is used to refer to circumstances that exist at the present time or over a period that includes the present time. The present perfect refers to past events, although it can be considered to denote primarily the resulting present situation rather than the events themselves.

PAST

Past
I spied
you spied
he/she/it spied
we spied
you spied
they spied
Past continuous
I was spying
you were spying
he/she/it was spying
we were spying
you were spying
they were spying
Past perfect
I had spied
you had spied
he/she/it had spied
we had spied
you had spied
they had spied
Past perfect continuous
I had been spying
you had been spying
he/she/it had been spying
we had been spying
you had been spying
they had been spying
Past tense forms express circumstances existing at some time in the past,

FUTURE

Future
I will spy
you will spy
he/she/it will spy
we will spy
you will spy
they will spy
Future continuous
I will be spying
you will be spying
he/she/it will be spying
we will be spying
you will be spying
they will be spying
Future perfect
I will have spied
you will have spied
he/she/it will have spied
we will have spied
you will have spied
they will have spied
Future perfect continuous
I will have been spying
you will have been spying
he/she/it will have been spying
we will have been spying
you will have been spying
they will have been spying
The future is used to express circumstances that will occur at a later time.

CONDITIONAL

Conditional
I would spy
you would spy
he/she/it would spy
we would spy
you would spy
they would spy
Conditional continuous
I would be spying
you would be spying
he/she/it would be spying
we would be spying
you would be spying
they would be spying
Conditional perfect
I would have spy
you would have spy
he/she/it would have spy
we would have spy
you would have spy
they would have spy
Conditional perfect continuous
I would have been spying
you would have been spying
he/she/it would have been spying
we would have been spying
you would have been spying
they would have been spying
Conditional or "future-in-the-past" tense refers to hypothetical or possible actions.

IMPERATIVE

Imperative
you spy
we let´s spy
you spy
The imperative is used to form commands or requests.
NONFINITE VERB FORMS
Infinitive
to spy
Past participle
spied
Present Participle
spying
Infinitive shows the action beyond temporal perspective. The present participle or gerund shows the action during the session. The past participle shows the action after completion.

WORDS THAT RHYME WITH SPY


carpi
ˈkɑːpaɪ
counterspy
ˈkaʊntəˌspaɪ
cowpie
ˌkaʊˈpaɪ
espy
ɪˈspaɪ
hippocampi
ˌhɪpəʊˈkæmpaɪ
Lupi
ˈluːpaɪ
magpie
ˈmæɡˌpaɪ
occupy
ˈɒkjʊˌpaɪ
palpi
ˈpælpaɪ
pappi
ˈpæpaɪ
Philippi
fɪˈlɪpaɪ
pi
paɪ
pie
paɪ
potpie
ˈpɒtˌpaɪ
preoccupy
priːˈɒkjʊˌpaɪ
pye
paɪ
reoccupy
riːˈɒkjʊˌpaɪ
sampi
ˈsæmpaɪ
superspy
ˈsuːpərˌspaɪ

WORDS THAT BEGIN LIKE SPY

sputter
sputterer
sputteringly
sputtery
sputum
spy camera
spy out
spy plane
spy ring
spy satellite
spy ship
Spy Wednesday
spy-in-the-sky
spycatcher
spyglass
spyhole
spying
spying charge
spymaster
spyware

WORDS THAT END LIKE SPY

canopy
copy
crappy
creepy
crispy
flappy
floppy
happy
hippy
microscopy
physical therapy
poppy
puppy
py
sleepy
sloppy
spectroscopy
therapy
unhappy
zippy

Synonyms and antonyms of spy in the English dictionary of synonyms

SYNONYMS

SYNONYMS OF «SPY»

The following words have a similar or identical meaning as «spy» and belong to the same grammatical category.
synonyms of spy

Translation of «spy» into 25 languages

TRANSLATOR
online translator

TRANSLATION OF SPY

Find out the translation of spy to 25 languages with our English multilingual translator.
The translations of spy from English to other languages presented in this section have been obtained through automatic statistical translation; where the essential translation unit is the word «spy» in English.

Translator English - Chinese

间谍
1,325 millions of speakers

Translator English - Spanish

espía
570 millions of speakers

English

spy
510 millions of speakers

Translator English - Hindi

जासूस
380 millions of speakers
ar

Translator English - Arabic

جَاسُوس
280 millions of speakers

Translator English - Russian

шпион
278 millions of speakers

Translator English - Portuguese

espião
270 millions of speakers

Translator English - Bengali

গুপ্তচর
260 millions of speakers

Translator English - French

espion
220 millions of speakers

Translator English - Malay

Pengintip
190 millions of speakers

Translator English - German

Spion
180 millions of speakers

Translator English - Japanese

スパイ
130 millions of speakers

Translator English - Korean

스파이
85 millions of speakers

Translator English - Javanese

Spy
85 millions of speakers
vi

Translator English - Vietnamese

gián điệp
80 millions of speakers

Translator English - Tamil

உளவு
75 millions of speakers

Translator English - Marathi

गुप्तचर
75 millions of speakers

Translator English - Turkish

casus
70 millions of speakers

Translator English - Italian

spia
65 millions of speakers

Translator English - Polish

szpieg
50 millions of speakers

Translator English - Ukrainian

шпигун
40 millions of speakers

Translator English - Romanian

spion
30 millions of speakers
el

Translator English - Greek

κατάσκοπος
15 millions of speakers
af

Translator English - Afrikaans

spioen
14 millions of speakers
sv

Translator English - Swedish

spion
10 millions of speakers
no

Translator English - Norwegian

spion
5 millions of speakers

Trends of use of spy

TRENDS

TENDENCIES OF USE OF THE TERM «SPY»

The term «spy» is very widely used and occupies the 5.654 position in our list of most widely used terms in the English dictionary.
0
100%
FREQUENCY
Very widely used
97
/100
The map shown above gives the frequency of use of the term «spy» in the different countries.
Principal search tendencies and common uses of spy
List of principal searches undertaken by users to access our English online dictionary and most widely used expressions with the word «spy».

FREQUENCY OF USE OF THE TERM «SPY» OVER TIME

The graph expresses the annual evolution of the frequency of use of the word «spy» during the past 500 years. Its implementation is based on analysing how often the term «spy» appears in digitalised printed sources in English between the year 1500 and the present day.

Examples of use in the English literature, quotes and news about spy

EXAMPLES

10 QUOTES WITH «SPY»

Famous quotes and sentences with the word spy.
1
Sherman Alexie
My father was sleepless most of his life. So by the age of five, I was awake with him all night long, watching bad television or we'd lie in the same bed, and I'd read my comic books while he read his latest spy or mystery novel.
2
Aldrich Ames
The human spy, in terms of the American espionage effort, had never been terribly pertinent.
3
Charles Bass
Like any good spy novel, the Cox Report alleges that Chinese spies penetrated four U.S. weapons research labs and stole important information on seven nuclear warhead designs.
4
Jello Biafra
What I'm getting at is, you know, if we really want to get serious about helping all the people living in the street and getting people jobs, we could just hire half the people in the country to spy on the other half.
5
Spencer Boldman
I've always loved film, and since I knew I probably couldn't be a cowboy or a spy in real life, I thought I'd play one in a movie! I started doing theater in middle school and tested for 'Victorious' before being in an episode of 'iCarly.'
6
Heather Brooke
In America, you have the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. You've got drones now being considered for domestic surveillance. You have the National Security Agency building the world's giantest spy center.
7
Heather Brooke
Slightly embarrassing admission: Even when I was a kid, I used to have these little spy books, and I would, like, see what everybody was doing in my neighborhood and log it down.
8
Tim Cahill
Right whales, for all their size, are surprisingly athletic. They roll, they slap their flukes, they lift their heads out of the water in a move known as a spy hop. They find playthings and are particularly fond of swimming repeatedly through clumps of seaweed, which slides over them like a feathered boa.
9
John le Carre
It's part of a writer's profession, as it's part of a spy's profession, to prey on the community to which he's attached, to take away information - often in secret - and to translate that into intelligence for his masters, whether it's his readership or his spy masters. And I think that both professions are perhaps rather lonely.
10
John le Carre
A spy, like a writer, lives outside the mainstream population. He steals his experience through bribes and reconstructs it.

10 ENGLISH BOOKS RELATING TO «SPY»

Discover the use of spy in the following bibliographical selection. Books relating to spy and brief extracts from same to provide context of its use in English literature.
1
Spy
Smart. Funny. Fearless."It's pretty safe to say that Spy was the most influential magazine of the 1980s. It might have remade New York's cultural landscape; it definitely changed the whole tone of magazine journalism.
2
Spy
Smart. Funny. Fearless."It's pretty safe to say that Spy was the most influential magazine of the 1980s. It might have remade New York's cultural landscape; it definitely changed the whole tone of magazine journalism.
3
Harriet the Spy
Harriet M. Welsch is a spy.
Louise Fitzhugh, 2009
4
Spy
Smart. Funny. Fearless."It's pretty safe to say that Spy was the most influential magazine of the 1980s. It might have remade New York's cultural landscape; it definitely changed the whole tone of magazine journalism.
5
Big Book of Spy Stuff
Kids will learn all about the history of spying, what goes into a secret agent tool kit, and how to decode a secret message. The Big Book of Spy Stuff even covers what spies should do when they run into an ethical dilemma.
Bart King, 2011
6
Ultimate Spy
New edition of this insider's guide to the secret world of espionage expanded to include new spy case studies and gadgets Deliberately secretive and shadowy, the world of the spy is one that only a privileged few can understand.
H. Keith Melton, 2009
7
I Spy Spectacular: A Book of Picture Riddles
Rhyming text invites young readers to find objects hidden in each photograph, with extra rhyming riddles to be matched with the photographs.
Jean Marzollo, 2011
8
Spy
Smart. Funny. Fearless."It's pretty safe to say that Spy was the most influential magazine of the 1980s. It might have remade New York's cultural landscape; it definitely changed the whole tone of magazine journalism.
9
Spy
Smart. Funny. Fearless."It's pretty safe to say that Spy was the most influential magazine of the 1980s. It might have remade New York's cultural landscape; it definitely changed the whole tone of magazine journalism.
10
Spy School
Can an undercover nerd become a superstar agent?
Stuart Gibbs, 2012

10 NEWS ITEMS WHICH INCLUDE THE TERM «SPY»

Find out what the national and international press are talking about and how the term spy is used in the context of the following news items.
1
Spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard granted parole
(CNN) Convicted spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard has been granted parole and will be released from an American jail on Nov. 21, his lawyer announced Tuesday ... «CNN, Jul 15»
2
Convicted spy could be released by Obama administration within …
(Reuters). Jonathan Pollard, a convicted Israeli spy, could be released from federal prison within months, his lawyer and the Justice Department said Friday. «Fox News, Jul 15»
3
Box Office: 'Spy' Tops With $30 Million, 'Entourage' Cools Off
Melissa McCarthy pushed “Spy” to a $30 million debut in an otherwise lackluster weekend at the box office as summer ticket sales continue to disappoint. «Variety, Jun 15»
4
Spy
On your knees, slaves! Melissa McCarthy is comedy royalty. And Spy, her best screen funfest to date, seals her coronation. Playing CIA agent Susan Cooper, ... «RollingStone.com, Jun 15»
5
Spy Agency: North Korea Executes Its Defense Chief With Anti …
Just days after grabbing international attention for reportedly testing a submarine-fired ballistic missile, North Korea executed its defense chief on the order of ... «NPR, May 15»
6
WATCH: ISIS Israeli Spy Execution With Child Executioner
A new video released by the Islamic State shows alleged Mossad agent Mohamed Sa'id Ismail Musallam being shot by a child executioner. According to The ... «Heavy.com, Mar 15»
7
The spy in your pocket
The story, based on documents from Edward Snowden, a former employee of America's National Security Agency, said that spies at GCHQ, Britain's equivalent ... «The Economist, Feb 15»
8
The unglamorous life of a modern spy in the new 'El Dorado of …
There may have been vast changes in surveillance technology, giving the NSA and GCHQ previously unimaginable powers. But the life of the spy on the ground ... «The Guardian, Feb 15»
9
Ex-spy chief disappears in latest plot twist of Argentina scandal
... Fernandez de Kirchner already had a plot as twisted as a Machiavelli novel. But this week, it contorted again, when the country's former spy chief disappeared. «CNN, Feb 15»
10
Canada Seeks to Strengthen Spy Agency After Attacks
While it would not gain powers of arrest, the spy agency would, among other things, be able to cancel travel arrangements, shut down bank accounts, provide ... «New York Times, Jan 15»

REFERENCE
« EDUCALINGO. Spy [online]. Available <https://educalingo.com/en/dic-en/spy>. Aug 2019 ».
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