Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To make a preliminary inspection of, especially in order to gather military information.
  • intransitive v. To make a reconnaissance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To perform a reconnaissance (of an area; an enemy position); to scout with the aim of gaining information.
  • n. An act or instance of reconnoitering.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. 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 v. To recognize.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. A preliminary survey; a reconnaissance.

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

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

Etymologies

Obsolete French reconnoître, from Old French reconoistre, to recognize; see recognize.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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). (Wiktionary)

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

  • 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

  • “Our mission,” Bartmae began, “was to reconnoiter a two-league radius from our current position, to explore intelligence that there was significant Jandut activity in the area.”

    Dust and Blood

  • When it came to Chicago, “we need to reconnoiter and make the judgment, like we did in Detroit,” Clark told the president.

    Burial for a King

  • There was no question but what it was increasing, but he failed to ascribe it to the gin he had taken. 'mcTavish, rifle in hand, went out on the veranda to reconnoiter.

    THE TERRIBLE SOLOMONS

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