One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The practice of spying or of using spies, typically by governments to obtain political and military information.
spying, undercover work, cloak-and-dagger activities, surveillance, reconnaissance, intelligence, eavesdropping, infiltration, cyberespionage, counter-espionage, counter-intelligenceView synonyms
- ‘They were freed in December, after accusations of espionage were reduced to charges of gathering secret information.’
- ‘After all, one never knew when one might become entangled in a web of international espionage.’
- ‘In doing this, Dench had inspiration from the real world of espionage - a female spymistress.’
- ‘Dozens were executed for espionage or sabotage after having been convicted in show trials.’
- ‘We also know there are people engaged in such things as economic espionage.’
- ‘Maybe espionage has grown less romantic since the end of the Cold War because the focus has shifted.’
- ‘Balzac pumped him for information on organised crime and political espionage.’
- ‘Cases involving foreign espionage or international terrorism are also omitted.’
- ‘Overt violence now gives way to a conflict based on espionage and infiltration.’
- ‘If convicted on charges of espionage and aiding the enemy, he could receive the death penalty.’
- ‘He denied his detention had anything to do with politics or espionage.’
- ‘The run for the presidency is no joke, rife with political chicanery, espionage and blackmail.’
- ‘After all, espionage is said to be the world's second oldest profession.’
- ‘After a secret trial, he was sentenced to 18 years for treason and espionage.’
- ‘Even if espionage had taken place at Los Alamos, they argued, it had not mattered.’
- ‘The break-in comes amid growing concern about computer espionage and security.’
- ‘All in all, it was a decent action thriller, with elements of espionage and intelligence thrown in.’
- ‘Apparently, three Americans have been arrested for espionage.’
- ‘He was not charged with espionage and has repeatedly denied giving information to China.’
- ‘The truth of the matter is that since the dawn of time, diplomacy has been closely linked to espionage.’
Late 18th century: from French espionnage, from espionner ‘to spy’, from espion ‘a spy’.
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