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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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