Espionage refers to the act of gathering or obtaining secret or confidential information without the permission of the person or organization that owns or holds that information. It is a clandestine activity carried out by individuals or groups with the intention of obtaining information that is considered valuable or useful for their own purposes, often involving the collection of sensitive information related to national security or economic interests.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Spying, intelligence gathering, surveillance, undercover work


Openness, transparency

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun espionages, espionage
Verb None
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The spy was caught and charged with espionage after being found with confidential documents from the government.

  • The agency had been conducting espionage operations for several years, obtaining sensitive information from foreign governments.

  • The journalist was accused of espionage after publishing classified information leaked to her by a government insider.

  • The company had strict security measures in place to prevent industrial espionage and protect their trade secrets.


The word “espionage” is derived from the French word “espionnage,” which means spying or espionage. It is a serious crime in most countries, and those who engage in espionage can face severe legal consequences, including imprisonment or even death. Espionage is often associated with government agencies, but it can also be carried out by individuals or private organizations for various reasons.

Espionage can take many forms, including wiretapping, hacking, and surveillance, among others. The goal of espionage is to obtain sensitive or confidential information that can be used for political, economic, or military advantage. This information can include military plans, trade secrets, government policies, and personal information about individuals.

The use of espionage is controversial, and some argue that it violates the privacy and sovereignty of nations. However, many governments consider espionage to be a necessary tool for protecting their national security and interests. The practice of espionage has become more sophisticated in recent years, with the use of advanced technologies and cyber espionage methods. Despite efforts to prevent espionage, it remains a significant threat to governments and organizations around the world.