- To catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes; to discover, as a distant object partly concealed, or not obvious to notice; to see at a glance; to discern unexpectedly; to spy; as, to espy land; to espy a man in a crowd. "As one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, . . . he espied his money." [Gen. xlii. 27.]"A goodly vessel did I then espy Come like a giant from a haven broad." [Wordsworth.]
- To inspect narrowly; to examine and keep watch upon; to watch; to observe."He sends angels to espy us in all our ways." [Jer. Taylor.]synonyms: To discern; discover; detect; descry; spy.
Etymology: OF. espier, F. épier, from OHG. speh�n to watch, spy, G. spähen; akin to L. specere to look, species sight, shape, appearance, kind. See Spice Spy, and cf. Espionage