re·​con·​noi·​ter | \ ˌrē-kə-ˈnȯi-tər How to pronounce reconnoiter (audio) , ˌre-kə- \
variants: or reconnoitre
reconnoitered or reconnoitred; reconnoitering or reconnoitring\ ˌrē-​kə-​ˈnȯi-​tə-​riŋ How to pronounce reconnoiter (audio) , -​ˈnȯi-​triŋ \

Definition of reconnoiter

intransitive verb

: to engage in reconnaissance

Examples of reconnoiter in a Sentence

An expedition reconnoitered the coast to find out the exact location of enemy forces. They were sent ahead to reconnoiter.
Recent Examples on the Web To judge from the performance, the NSO would have offered a sundry, occasionally spicy impression of an American orchestra abroad, reconnoitering classical music’s European, and homegrown, inheritance. Matthew Guerrieri, Washington Post, 28 Feb. 2020 Apollo 10 had reconnoitered the landing area, and Armstrong had spent hours studying those photographs, committing landmarks to memory. Stephen Witt, WIRED, 24 June 2019 Check their websites, social media, or Etsy/Ebay stores to reconnoiter the goods. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 June 2018 News articles revealed the potential for terrorists to use Strava's Global Heatmap to digitally reconnoiter potential ambush routes of U.S. service members who download their recreational and exercise routes. Author: Rick Sinnott | Opinion, Anchorage Daily News, 31 Mar. 2018 But a former senior intelligence official told NBC News that these types of penetrations can be just as serious, either as gateways to other networks or as reconnoitering for future attacks. Cynthia Mcfadden, NBC News, 27 Feb. 2018 Planet, a company in San Francisco that owns swarms of tiny satellites, reconnoitered the secretive nuclear test site. William J. Broad, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2017 During police interrogations, Bakiev admitted to reconnoitering the air base for his strike, the police statement said. Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2017 A scout goes out to reconnoiter a termite nest, then returns to lead a battalion of 200 to 500 ants to the buffet. Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, 12 Apr. 2017

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

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First Known Use of reconnoiter

1705, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for reconnoiter

obsolete French reconnoître, literally, to recognize, from Old French reconoistre — more at recognize

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The first known use of reconnoiter was in 1705

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Cite this Entry

“Reconnoiter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of reconnoiter

: to go to (a place or area) in order to find out information about a military enemy : to do a reconnaissance of (a place)


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