Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To make a preliminary examination of (an area or a group, for example), usually by moving around and observing, in order to gather information, especially for military purposes.
  • intransitive verb To make a reconnaissance or preliminary examination.
  • noun An act of reconnoitering.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To know again; recognize.
  • To examine with the eye; make a preliminary survey of; specifically, to examine or survey, as a tract or region, for military, engineering, or geological purposes. See reconnaissance.
  • To make a survey or inspection preliminary to taking some action; examine a position, person, opinion, etc., as a precaution.
  • noun A preliminary survey; a reconnaissance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To examine with the eye to make a preliminary examination or survey of; esp., to survey with a view to military or engineering operations.
  • transitive verb obsolete To recognize.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive, intransitive, military To perform a reconnaissance (of an area; an enemy position); to scout with the aim of gaining information.
  • noun An act or instance of reconnoitering.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb explore, often with the goal of finding something or somebody

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Obsolete French reconnoître, from Old French reconoistre, to recognize; see recognize.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French reconnoître (obsolete spelling of reconnaître), from Latin recognoscere ("to recognize"). Contrarily, there is also an obsolete 19th-century British English spelling reconnaitre (now reconnoitre).

Examples

  • Their ability to quickly reconnoiter is why we have such great coverage of everything that went down.

    Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode #6 | EW.com

  • He trod on empty cartridges as he walked from room to room to reconnoiter from the windows.

    War

  • He trod on empty cartridges as he walked from room to room to reconnoiter from the windows.

    War

  • In this case, an exception should be made not only for clumsy phrases, but for simple oversights, such as a girl going to "reconnoiter" rather than rendezvous with her boyfriend.

    Hand Me Down World by Lloyd Jones – review

  • What tasks (such as reconnoiter a route or assist a passage of lines) does the OPORD specify for the company team to accomplish?

    FM 71-1 Chapter 2 Battle Command

  • If that didn't work, they'd drop back and "reconnoiter," he said.

    Daytona Beach News-Journal Online

  • Authorities say that while the circle of suspects—which stretched from Colorado to Pennsylvania to Ireland and South Asia—didn't conduct any attacks, their world-wide plotting shows how would-be terrorists can recruit, raise money, and reconnoiter potential targets online.

    Teen Charged in Terrorism Plot

  • Sergeant Nilson, secure these individuals while I reconnoiter.

    Gideon’s war

  • Sergeant Nilson, secure these individuals while I reconnoiter.

    Gideon’s war

  • Sergeant Nilson, secure these individuals while I reconnoiter.

    Gideon’s war

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