Inherited from Middle French *espion (attested only in the verb espionner), from Old French espion, spion (“one assigned to observe or spy”). Alternatively, derived from Old French espie (“spy”), under influence of Italian spione (“spy”). According to another theory, French espion is borrowed from Italian spione. The word is ultimately from Frankish *spehō (“spy”), from Frankish *spehōn (“to look, spy”), from Proto-Germanic *spehōną.
- → Basque: espioi
- → German: Spion (or directly from Italian)
- → Norman: espion
- → Portuguese: espião
- → Turkish: ispiyon
- “espion”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
espion m (plural espions)
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