To espy something is to see it, or glimpse it. If you look through binoculars long enough, you might espy a colorful bird.

Though you can use the verb espy whenever you want to say "see," "spot," or "notice," it's primarily a literary word that you'll mostly find in books. One character might espy another strolling in a garden, or a pipe-smoking detective might espy a clue behind a parlor door. Espy comes from the Old French espiier, "observe, watch or spy on," from a Germanic root.

Definitions of espy

v catch sight of

descry, spot, spy
Type of:
sight, spy
catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes

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