[es-pee-uh-nahzh, -nij, es-pee-uh-nahzh]
the act or practice of spying.
the use of spies by a government to discover the military and political secrets of other nations.
the use of spies by a corporation or the like to acquire the plans, technical knowledge, etc., of a competitor: industrial espionage.

1785–95; < French espionnage, Middle French espionage, equivalent to espionn(er) to spy (derivative of espion spy < Italian spione < Germanic; akin to German spähen to look out) + -age -age

nonespionage, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
espionage (ˈɛspɪəˌnɑːʒ, ˌɛspɪəˈnɑːʒ, ˈɛspɪənɪdʒ)
1.  the systematic use of spies to obtain secret information, esp by governments to discover military or political secrets
2.  the act or practice of spying
[C18: from French espionnage, from espionner to spy, from espion spy, from Old Italian spione, of Germanic origin; compare German spähen to spy]

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

1793, from Fr. espionnage, from M.Fr. espionner "to spy," from O.Fr. espion "spy," probably from a Gmc. source akin to O.H.G. spehon "spy."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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