or re·con·nois·sance

[ ri-kon-uh-suh ns, -zuh ns ]
/ rɪˈkɒn ə səns, -zəns /


the act of reconnoitering.
Military. a search made for useful military information in the field, especially by examining the ground.
Surveying, Civil Engineering. a general examination or survey of a region, usually followed by a detailed survey.
Geology. an examination or survey of the general geological characteristics of a region.

Nearby words

  1. reconciliatory,
  2. recondite,
  3. recondition,
  4. reconfigure,
  5. reconfirm,
  6. reconnaissance car,
  7. reconnaissance satellite,
  8. reconnect,
  9. reconnoiter,
  10. reconnoitre

Origin of reconnaissance

1800–10; < French; Middle French reconoissance recognizance Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reconnoissance

British Dictionary definitions for reconnoissance



/ (rɪˈkɒnɪsəns) /


the act of reconnoitring
the process of obtaining information about the position, activities, resources, etc, of an enemy or potential enemy
a preliminary inspection of an area of land before an engineering survey is made

Word Origin for reconnaissance

C18: from French, from Old French reconoistre to explore, recognize

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for reconnoissance



1810, from French reconnaissance "act of surveying," literally "recognition," from Old French reconoissance "recognition, acknowledgement" (see recognizance).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper