To gain sight of; to discover at a distance, or in a state of concealment; to espy; to see.
To discover by close search or examination.
To explore; to view; inspect; and examine secretly, as a country; -- usually with out.
To search narrowly; to scrutinize.
One who keeps a constant watch of the conduct of others.
A person sent secretly into an enemy's camp, territory, or fortifications, to inspect his works, ascertain his strength, movements, or designs, and to communicate such intelligence to the proper officer.
It's part of a writer's profession, as it's part of a spy's profession, to prey on the community to which he's attached, to take away information - often in secret - and to translate that into intelligence for his masters, whether it's his readership or his spy masters. And I think that both professions are perhaps rather lonely. John le Carre
The great advantage of being a writer is that you can spy on people. You're there, listening to every word, but part of you is observing. Everything is useful to a writer, you see - every scrap, even the longest and most boring of luncheon parties. Graham Greene
Setting people to spy on one another is not the way to protect freedom. Tommy Douglas
Right whales, for all their size, are surprisingly athletic. They roll, they slap their flukes, they lift their heads out of the water in a move known as a spy hop. They find playthings and are particularly fond of swimming repeatedly through clumps of seaweed, which slides over them like a feathered boa. Tim Cahill
The director of the FBI has been visiting Silicon Valley companies asking them to build back doors so that it can spy on what is being said online. The Department of Commerce is going after piracy. At home, the American government wants anything but Internet freedom. Evgeny Morozov