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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Time Traveler for scout

Time Traveler

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

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scout car

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Cite this Entry

“Scout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for scout



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


\ 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, From The Mixed-up Files of 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

More from Merriam-Webster on scout

Nglish: Translation of scout for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scout for Arabic Speakers


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