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[ree-kuh-noi-ter, rek-uh-] /ˌri kəˈnɔɪ tər, ˌrɛk ə-/
verb (used with object)
to inspect, observe, or survey (the enemy, the enemy's strength or position, a region, etc.) in order to gain information for military purposes.
to examine or survey (a region, area, etc.) for engineering, geological, or other purposes.
verb (used without object)
to make a reconnaissance.
Origin of reconnoiter
1700-10; < French reconnoître (now obsolete) to explore, Middle French reconoistre. See recognize
Related forms
reconnoiterer, noun
unreconnoitered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for reconnoiter
Historical Examples
  • There was no cranny in the rocks too small for them to reconnoiter with caution.

    Riders of the Silences

    John Frederick
  • While the crew rested, he climbed the face of a rocky cliff to reconnoiter.

  • We are to reconnoiter along this road and down toward that bridge (pointing).

  • Presently a Persian on horseback rode up to reconnoiter the pass.

    Children's Literature Charles Madison Curry
  • A small boat with a pilot and midshipman was sent in to reconnoiter the harbor.

    Historic Adventures Rupert S. Holland
  • There appeared to be no one on this side, and Lovejoy stepped forward to reconnoiter.

    Historic Adventures Rupert S. Holland
  • In an hour we halted, and the cavalry went forward to reconnoiter.

    The Secret Service. Albert D. Richardson
  • Then Dick crept through the opening in the crumbling wall to reconnoiter.

    The Phantom Yacht Carol Norton
  • Yes, and I have come to ask if I may go and reconnoiter the British encampment.

    The Dare Boys in Virginia

    Stephen Angus Cox
  • Melendez immediately sent a detachment of men to reconnoiter.

Word Origin and History for reconnoiter

also reconnoitre, 1707, "make a survey," from older French reconnoitre (Modern French reconnaître), from Old French reconoistre "to identify" (see recognize).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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