One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Catch sight of.‘she espied her daughter rounding the corner’
perceive, make out, pick out, detect, recognize, notice, observe, see, spotcatch sight of, glimpse, catch a glimpse of, get a glimpse of, see, spot, spy, notice, observe, make out, discern, perceive, pick out, sight, detect, have sight ofView synonyms
- ‘‘I want that,’ my sister Molly says, espying my purchase.’
- ‘If I espy a weed trying to masquerade as one of my plants I just yank it out.’
- ‘We espy the professor and his assistant in the distance and amble over to them.’
- ‘Later, I am in a supermarket, and I espy a former teacher whom I did not like.’
- ‘This afternoon, whilst I was chatting to an elderly couple who wanted directions to somewhere, my eyes wandered to the car park verge and espied a single solitary daffodil blooming in the late winter sun.’
Middle English: from Old French espier, ultimately of Germanic origin and related to Dutch spieden and German spähan. Compare with spy.
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