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

intransitive verb

: to engage in reconnaissance

Example Sentences

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 In August, with the approach of spring, the expedition continued to reconnoiter the forbidding coast. Gerard Helferich, WSJ, 14 Aug. 2022 Russia is reportedly using other, non-loitering drones, such as the Orlan-10, to reconnoiter Ukrainian positions. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 28 Mar. 2022 The team will reconnoiter later today as well, trying to answer the same questions. Eric Tegler, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2022 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 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1705, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of reconnoiter was in 1705

Dictionary Entries Near reconnoiter

Cite this Entry

“Reconnoiter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



variants or reconnoitre
ˌrē-kə-ˈnȯit-ər How to pronounce reconnoiter (audio)
 also  ˌrek-ə-
reconnoitered or reconnoitred; reconnoitering or reconnoitring
: to make a reconnaissance (as in preparation for military action)
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