verb (used with object), espied, espying.
to see at a distance; catch sight of.

1175–1225; Middle English espyen < Old French espierGermanic; compare German spähen to spy

unespied, adjective

discern, descry, discover, perceive, make out. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
espy (ɪˈspaɪ)
vb , -pies, -pying, -pied
(tr) to catch sight of or perceive (something distant or previously unnoticed); detect: to espy a ship on the horizon
[C14: from Old French espier to spy, of Germanic origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., from O.Fr. espier (Fr. épier), from V.L. *spiare, from a Gmc. source (cf. O.H.G. spehon "to spy" (see spy). Related: Espied.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Espy   (ěs'pē)  Pronunciation Key 
American meteorologist who is credited with the first correct explanation of the role heat plays in cloud formation and growth. His use of the telegraph in relaying meteorological observations and tracking storms laid the foundation for modern weather forecasting.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It was not long before he espied one which was broad enough to let him in.
Vulture that he did not return to deliver his message but flew to a distant land, from where he had espied a fire.
During their journey, they espied a bison, which they pursued and killed.
Related Words
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