The ongoing style of warfare that is almost always waged by official channels but rarely without plausible deniability. Its soldiers, generally referred to as spies, generally suffer anonymous, violent, and/or painful ends. During the height of the cold war, when these ends happened more often, propaganda helped make spying cool to make recruiting easier.

Es"pi*o*nage [F. espionnage, fr. espionner to spy, fr. espion spy, OF. espie. See Espy.]

The practice or employment of spies; the practice of watching the words and conduct of others, to make discoveries, as spies or secret emissaries; secret watching.

 

© Webster 1913.

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