verb (1)
\ ˈskau̇t How to pronounce scout (audio) \
scouted; scouting; scouts

Definition of scout

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to explore an area to obtain information (as about an enemy)
2a : to make a search
b : to work as a talent scout

transitive verb

1 : to observe in order to obtain information or evaluate
2 : to explore in order to obtain information
3 : to find by making a search


plural scouts

Definition of scout (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : one sent to obtain information especially : a soldier, ship, or plane sent out in war to reconnoiter

c sports

(1) : a person sent out to secure firsthand information about the style of play, tactics, and strength of a rival
(2) : a person sent out to obtain information about players by watching them in action with a view to making recommendations about the acquisition of players
2a : the act of scouting
b : a scouting expedition : reconnaissance
3 often capitalized : a member of any of various scouting movements: such as
a : boy scout
4 : individual, person used chiefly in the phrase good scout


verb (2)
scouted; scouting; scouts

Definition of scout (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : mock
2 : to reject scornfully scouted his explanation as a shabby falsehood— Mark Twain

First Known Use of scout

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

1605, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for scout

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French escuter to listen, from Latin auscultare — more at auscultation

Verb (2)

probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skūti taunt; akin to Old English scēotan to shoot — more at shoot

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scout car



Statistics for scout

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scout

The first known use of scout was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of scout

: a soldier, airplane, etc., that is sent to get information about the size, location, equipment, etc., of an enemy
: a person whose job is to search for talented performers, athletes, etc.


\ ˈskau̇t How to pronounce scout (audio) \
scouted; scouting

Kids Definition of scout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to explore an area to find out information about it
2 : to search an area for someone or something … they scouted around for a place to spend the night.— E. L. Konigsburg, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler



Kids Definition of scout (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a person, group, boat, or plane that gathers information or searches an area
2 often capitalized : boy scout
3 often capitalized : girl scout

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More from Merriam-Webster on scout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scout

Spanish Central: Translation of scout

Nglish: Translation of scout for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scout for Arabic Speakers

Comments on scout

What made you want to look up scout? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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