- 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.
- to make a reconnaissance.
Origin of reconnoiter
1700–10; < French reconnoître (now obsolete) to explore, Middle French reconoistre. See recognize
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for reconnoiter
There was no cranny in the rocks too small for them to reconnoiter with caution.Riders of the Silences
While the crew rested, he climbed the face of a rocky cliff to reconnoiter.Canada: the Empire of the North
Agnes C. Laut
We are to reconnoiter along this road and down toward that bridge (pointing).Manual of Military Training
James A. Moss
Presently a Persian on horseback rode up to reconnoiter the pass.Children's Literature
Charles Madison Curry
There appeared to be no one on this side, and Lovejoy stepped forward to reconnoiter.Historic Adventures
Rupert S. Holland
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