Definition of espionage in English:


See synonyms for espionage

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  • The practice of spying or of using spies, typically by governments to obtain political and military information.

    ‘the camouflage and secrecy of espionage’
    • ‘Balzac pumped him for information on organised crime and political espionage.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Even if espionage had taken place at Los Alamos, they argued, it had not mattered.’
    • ‘All in all, it was a decent action thriller, with elements of espionage and intelligence thrown in.’
    • ‘Overt violence now gives way to a conflict based on espionage and infiltration.’
    • ‘After a secret trial, he was sentenced to 18 years for treason and espionage.’
    • ‘The break-in comes amid growing concern about computer espionage and security.’
    • ‘Cases involving foreign espionage or international terrorism are also omitted.’
    • ‘They were freed in December, after accusations of espionage were reduced to charges of gathering secret information.’
    • ‘He was not charged with espionage and has repeatedly denied giving information to China.’
    • ‘After all, espionage is said to be the world's second oldest profession.’
    • ‘We also know there are people engaged in such things as economic espionage.’
    • ‘The truth of the matter is that since the dawn of time, diplomacy has been closely linked to espionage.’
    • ‘After all, one never knew when one might become entangled in a web of international espionage.’
    • ‘Maybe espionage has grown less romantic since the end of the Cold War because the focus has shifted.’
    • ‘Dozens were executed for espionage or sabotage after having been convicted in show trials.’
    • ‘Apparently, three Americans have been arrested for espionage.’
    • ‘If convicted on charges of espionage and aiding the enemy, he could receive the death penalty.’
    • ‘In doing this, Dench had inspiration from the real world of espionage - a female spymistress.’
    spying, undercover work, cloak-and-dagger activities, surveillance, reconnaissance, intelligence, eavesdropping, infiltration, cyberespionage, counter-espionage, counter-intelligence
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/ˈespēəˌnäZH/ /ˈɛspiəˌnɑʒ/


Late 18th century from French espionnage, from espionner ‘to spy’, from espion ‘a spy’.