One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The action of watching or catching sight of something or someone or the fact of being seen.‘he withdrew from his point of espial’
- ‘Presently he moved forward, and, with head still bent, approached the lower end of the garden, where, in a wall higher than that over which Goldthorpe made his espial, there was a wooden door.’
- ‘Among the crowd entering the exhibition he could easily keep her in sight without risk of his espial being detected.’
Late Middle English (in the sense ‘spying’): from Old French espiaille, from espier ‘espy’.
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