Es·py v. t. [imp. & p. p. Espied p. pr. & vb. n. Espying.]
1. To catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes; to discover, as a distant object partly concealed, or not obvious to notice; to see at a glance; to discern unexpectedly; to spy; as, to espy land; to espy a man in a crowd.
As one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, . . . he espied his money. --Gen. xlii. 27.
A goodly vessel did I then espy
Come like a giant from a haven broad. --Wordsworth.
2. To inspect narrowly; to examine and keep watch upon; to watch; to observe.
He sends angels to espy us in all our ways. --Jer. Taylor.
Syn: -- To discern; discover; detect; descry; spy.