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Spies and spying

agent

noun

someone who works for a country’s secret service and collects secret information about foreign governments

bug

noun

a small piece of electronic equipment used for secretly listening to what people are saying

bug

verb

to hide a small piece of electronic equipment somewhere so that you can secretly listen to what people are saying

collaborate

verb

to work secretly to help an enemy or opponent

collaboration

noun

help that someone secretly gives to an enemy or opponent

collaborator

noun

someone who secretly helps an enemy or opponent, for example by giving them information

counterintelligence

noun

the activities and methods used by a country to stop enemy countries discovering its secrets

double agent

noun

someone who finds out secret information for a government but also for that government’s enemy

espionage

noun

attempts to discover your enemy’s political, military, or industrial secrets using secret methods. Someone who does this is a spy.

industrial espionage

noun

the act of stealing secret information from a company in order to help another company

infiltrate

verb

to secretly join an organization or go into a place in order to find out information about it or damage it

intelligence

noun

information collected about the secret plans and activities of a foreign government, enemy etc

intelligence

noun

a government organization that collects information about the secret plans and activities of a foreign government, enemy etc

listening device

noun

a piece of electrical equipment that allows someone to listen secretly to people’s conversations

listening post

noun

a place for secretly listening to electronic communications made by other people, especially a country’s enemies

mole

noun

someone who joins or works for an organization in order to give secret information about it to other people, especially to its enemies

national security

noun

the protection or the safety of a country’s secrets and its citizens

operative

noun

someone whose job is to do secret work, especially for a government organization

penetrate

verb

to become a member of a group in order to find out secret information about them

phone-tapping

noun

the use of special equipment to listen to and record someone’s telephone conversations

plant

noun

a person who is put into a group or organization to find out information secretly

plant

verb

to put someone in a group or organization so that they can find out information secretly

quisling

noun

someone who secretly helps an enemy or opponent

secret agent

noun

someone whose job involves working for a government and finding out the secrets of other governments

secret service

noun

a government department that secret agents work for

snoop

verb

to secretly try to get information that someone would not want you to have

snoop

verb

to watch someone secretly in order to learn about their personal life or business

snoop

noun

someone who tries to get secret information about someone

spook

noun

a spy

spy

noun

someone whose job is to find out secret information about a country or an organization

spy

noun

involving spies or their activities

spy

verb

to work as a spy

spy on

to watch someone secretly so that you know everything that they do

spy on

to find out secret information about what a country or an organization is doing

tap

verb

to use electronic equipment to secretly listen to what someone says on the telephone

tap

noun

electronic equipment used for listening secretly to someone’s telephone conversations

traitor

noun

someone who tells secrets about their own country to a country that is its enemy

wire

noun

a piece of electronic equipment that someone wears under their clothes to allow other people to hear their conversations secretly

wire

verb

to hide a piece of equipment somewhere that allows conversations to be heard secretly

wired

adjective

wearing or containing equipment which secretly lets conversations be heard or recorded

wiretap

noun

a piece of equipment that secretly lets telephone conversations be heard or recorded

wiretap

noun

an occasion when a wiretap is used

wiretap

verb

to connect a special piece of equipment to a telephone wire that lets you listen to conversations secretly. The usual British word is tap.

infiltration

noun

infiltrator

noun

snooper

noun

wiretapping

noun

breach of security

a situation in which someone gets into a place that is usually guarded, or discovers information that should be kept secret

dark pool

a method of financial trading in which share prices are hidden and not openly available to the public

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