from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act of watching or observing; observation.
  • n. A taking notice of something; a discovery.
  • n. The fact of being seen or noticed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Act of noticing or observing.
  • n. The fact of noticing or observing; a discovery.
  • n. A spy; a scout.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of espying; notice; discovery.
  • n. One who espies; a spy; a scout.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of espying; observation; watch; scrutiny.
  • n. A spy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of detecting something; catching sight of something


Middle English espiaille, from Old French, from espier, to watch; see espy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English espiaille, from Old French, from espier, to watch. (Wiktionary)


  • By the way, did you mean to have "espial" in your alternative rendering?

    Etruscan inscription REE 59,1993

  • Stephen C. Carlson: "By the way, did you mean to have 'espial' in your alternative rendering?"

    Etruscan inscription REE 59,1993

  • One might understand espial which is itself a troubling hapax to refer to the father of Laris Thefarie, which is the traditional way of naming people in Etruscan inscriptions.

    Etruscan inscription REE 59,1993

  • The inscription REE 59,1993 is often transcribed thus: ecn : turce : laris : θefries : espial : atial : caθas

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • Based on the above picture, could it be possible that espial is a faulty transcription for what is to be read estial with the letter tau instead of pi?

    Etruscan inscription REE 59,1993

  • May 17 Corrected typo at the transcription at the very bottom from espial to estial.

    Etruscan inscription REE 59,1993

  • Looking at the photograph, I agree that estial seems to be a better transcription than espial.

    Etruscan inscription REE 59,1993

  • On the other hand, perhaps espial atial refers to a woman named Atia Espi, perhaps deceased, on behalf of which a gift to Catha is given by Laris, thus: "This has given Laris Thefarie, for Ati Espi, to Catha".

    Etruscan inscription REE 59,1993

  • Most interesting to me was that the Headmaster didn't reprimand any of this, most perplexing was Axley's motives for illuming us, most hopeful was the private hello/honest espial of an uneducatable young man.

    Peter and the Wolf

  • “Nay, the Balese received them not into the town,” replied the squire; “but I learned, by sure espial, that they afforded them means of quartering at Graffs-lust, which was furnished with many a fair gammon and pasty, to speak nought of flasks of Rhine wine, barrels of beer, and stoups of strong waters.”

    Anne of Geierstein

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