re·​con·​nais·​sance | \ ri-ˈkä-nə-zən(t)s How to pronounce reconnaissance (audio) , -sən(t)s \

Definition of reconnaissance

: a preliminary survey to gain information especially : an exploratory military survey of enemy territory

Examples of reconnaissance in a Sentence

There are two helicopters available for reconnaissance. They did a reconnaissance of the enemy's position.
Recent Examples on the Web From information obtained from Commando and Ranger raids on the French coast, from the French underground, from photo-reconnaissance, from scouting parties in small boats and midget submarines came a complete picture of German coastal defenses. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 6 June 2021 In April, India won U.S. approval to purchase $2.4 billion in maritime reconnaissance and patrol aircraft, a key tool in the common goal to curb Chinese navy inroads in the Indian Ocean. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, 21 May 2021 The city’s reconnaissance had done little but confirm a lot of work was ahead. Washington Post, 19 May 2021 Finally, its reconnaissance complete, the drone flies back to a landing zone on the surface to transmit invaluable data back to Earth. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, 8 May 2021 Members of the NOAA Corps also served in World War II in a variety of roles, including as artillery and reconnaissance surveyors, as well as engineers., 24 Apr. 2021 This same technology might one day support future human missions, with Ingenuity-like drones performing reconnaissance to scout out areas of interest on the surface. Jonathan O'callaghan, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2021 Stefanik is listening while conducting some light reconnaissance, GOP sources confirmed. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, 17 Feb. 2021 The shearline also hints at the sharp fuselage edge of the iconic Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 16 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reconnaissance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of reconnaissance

1779, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for reconnaissance

French, literally, recognition, from Middle French reconoissance, from Old French reconoistre to recognize

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reconnaissance

Time Traveler for reconnaissance

Time Traveler

The first known use of reconnaissance was in 1779

See more words from the same year

Statistics for reconnaissance

Last Updated

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reconnaissance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reconnaissance



English Language Learners Definition of reconnaissance

: military activity in which soldiers, airplanes, etc., are sent to find out information about an enemy


re·​con·​nais·​sance | \ ri-ˈkä-nə-zəns How to pronounce reconnaissance (audio) \

Kids Definition of reconnaissance

: a survey (as of enemy territory) to get information


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!