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[ih-spahy-uh l] /ɪˈspaɪ əl/
the act of spying.
the act of keeping watch; observation.
Origin of espial
1350-1400; Middle English espiaille < Middle French. See espy, -al2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for espial
Historical Examples
  • Her system of espial is even more minute and irritating than that of Russia.

    The Destroyer Burton Egbert Stevenson
  • Then Wisdom altered its method and spoke of espial and discovery.

  • From his new point of espial Kent checked off the members of the party.

    The Grafters Francis Lynde
  • The act of espial had always been hateful to him: he preferred to trust his brethren, and it cost far less trouble.

    Brother Copas Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • At the moment of my espial, Cornwallis was speaking, and I drew back to listen, well enough content to be in earshot.

    The Master of Appleby Francis Lynde
  • She did not intend an espial upon Anthony; the question was born of pain and bewilderment.

    A Man's Hearth Eleanor M. Ingram
  • But the man, whoever he might be, who indulged in this espial, every now and then gave signs of ill temper and disappointment.

    The Prairie Flower Gustave Aimard
  • "I infer nothing; I act," said Peter, turning to look out his place of espial.

    Edith and John Franklin S. Farquhar
  • He remembered his reluctant consent to McCloskey's proposal touching the espial upon Hallock, and was sorry he had given it.

British Dictionary definitions for espial


noun (archaic)
the act or fact of being seen or discovered
the act of noticing
the act of spying upon; secret observation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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