Also found in: Thesaurus.


1. The act of watching or observing.
2. A taking notice of something; a discovery.
3. The fact of being seen or noticed.

[Middle English espiaille, from Old French, from espier, to watch; see espy.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. the act or fact of being seen or discovered
2. the act of noticing
3. the act of spying upon; secret observation
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ɪˈspaɪ əl)

1. the act of spying.
2. the act of keeping watch; observation.
[1350–1400; Middle English espiaille < Middle French. See espy, -al2]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.espial - the act of detecting something; catching sight of something
discovery, find, uncovering - the act of discovering something
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


The act of noting, observing, or taking into account:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The bedroom-door on the staircase being unlocked, Mr Quilp slipped in, and planted himself behind the door of communication between that chamber and the sitting-room, which standing ajar to render both more airy, and having a very convenient chink (of which he had often availed himself for purposes of espial, and had indeed enlarged with his pocket-knife), enabled him not only to hear, but to see distinctly, what was passing.
The landlord of the house had not withdrawn his eye from this place of espial for five minutes, and Barney had only just returned from making the communication above related, when Fagin, in the course of his evening's business, came into the bar to inquire after some of his young pupils.
Then wisdom altered its method and spoke of espial and discovery.
But Laure refused to condescend to an act of espial which no curiosity could justify, and she consequently became the object of much reprobation.
But this careful study, the result of ten years' observation and experience, and of a long acquaintance with men and things obtained by intercourse with the various functionaries in the different ministries, would assuredly have, to those who did not see its purport and connection, an air of treachery and police espial. If a single page of these papers were to fall under the eye of those concerned, Monsieur Rabourdin was lost.
There is a kind of followers likewise, which are dangerous, being indeed espials; which inquire the secrets of the house, and bear tales of them, to others.
Sometimes, he looked over his shoulder into the shop, which was so dark and dingy with numerous tokens of his trade, and so blackened by the smoke of a little forge, near which his 'prentice was at work, that it would have been difficult for one unused to such espials to have distinguished anything but various tools of uncouth make and shape, great bunches of rusty keys, fragments of iron, half-finished locks, and such like things, which garnished the walls and hung in clusters from the ceiling.
(TSX: ENGH) has completed its acquisition of Canada-based video services software platform provider Espial Group Inc.
M2 EQUITYBITES-May 28, 2019-Enghouse Completes Acquisition of Espial Group to Broaden Networks Product Portfolio
They are powered by Espial' s Elevate Cloud IPTV platform, which is a TV-as-a-service solution that enables HBC to offer IPTV and app-based TV services to its customers.
Espial has announced that Conway Corporation a provider of high-speed Internet, digital TV, telephone, home monitoring, and utilities to customers in Conway, Arkansas has signed an agreement to license Espial's Elevate SaaS video platform, the company said.