Etymology
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spy (v.)
mid-13c., "to watch stealthily," from Old French espiier "observe, watch closely, spy on, find out," probably from Frankish *spehon or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *spehon- (source also of Old High German *spehon "to look out for, scout, spy," German spähen "to spy," Middle Dutch spien), the Germanic survivals of the productive PIE root *spek- "to observe." Old English had spyrian "make a track, go, pursue; ask about, investigate," also a noun spyrigend "investigator, inquirer." Italian spiare, Spanish espiar also are Germanic loan-words. Meaning "to catch sight of" is from c. 1300. Children's game I spy so called by 1946.
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Anschauung (n.)

"sense-perception," 1833 as a German word in English, nativized from 1848, from German Anschauung "mode of view," literally "a looking at," from anschauen "to look at," from Middle High German aneschouwen, from an (see on) + Old High German scouwon "to look at" (from PIE root *keu- "to see, observe, perceive"). A term in Kantian philosophy.

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observatory (n.)

"building for observing astronomical phenomena," 1670s (in reference to Greenwich), from French observatoire, from observer (v.) "to observe, watch over, follow," from Latin observare "watch over," from ob "in front of, before" (see ob-) + servare "to watch, keep safe," from PIE root *ser- (1) "to protect."

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spectrum (n.)
1610s, "apparition, specter," from Latin spectrum (plural spectra) "an appearance, image, apparition, specter," from specere "to look at, view" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"). Meaning "visible band showing the successive colors, formed from a beam of light passed through a prism" first recorded 1670s. Figurative sense of "entire range (of something)" is from 1936.
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specimen (n.)
1610s, "pattern, model," from Latin specimen "indication, mark, example, sign, evidence; that by which a thing is known, means of knowing," from specere "to look at" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"). Meaning "single thing regarded as typical of its kind" first recorded 1650s. Compare species.
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gyroscope (n.)
heavy rotating wheel with an axis free to turn in any direction, 1853, improved and named in French 1852 by Foucault, from Greek gyros "a circle" (see gyre (n.)) + skopos "watcher" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"), because the device demonstrates that the earth rotates.
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despicable (adj.)

"that may be or deserves to be despised," 1550s, from Late Latin despicabilis, from Latin despicari "despise, disdain," which is related to despicere "to look down upon," from de- "down" (see de-) + spicere, variant of specere "to look at" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"). Related: Despicability; despicably; despicableness.

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scopophilia (n.)

"voyeurism, sexual urge or satisfaction chiefly from looking and seeing," 1924 (in a translation of Freud), from a word-forming element made from a Latinized form of Greek -skopia "observation" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe") + -philia. In early use often scoptophilia through a mistake by Freud's translators. The corrected form is by 1937. Related: Scopophiliac; scopophile.

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spectacle (n.)

mid-14c., "specially prepared or arranged display," from Old French spectacle "sight, spectacle, Roman games" (13c.), from Latin spectaculum "a public show, spectacle, place from which shows are seen," from spectare "to view, watch, behold," frequentative form of specere "to look at" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe").

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scout (v.1)

late 14c., scouten, "observe or explore as a scout, travel in search of information," from Middle English scout-watch "sentinel, guard" (compare scout (n.)) or else Old French escouter "to listen, to heed" (Modern French écouter), from Latin auscultare "to listen to, give heed to" (see auscultate). Related: Scouted; scouting.

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