Definition of reconnoitre in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌrɛkəˈnɔɪtə/
(US reconnoiter)


[with object]
Make a military observation of (a region): they reconnoitred the beach some weeks before the landing [no object]: the raiders were reconnoitring for further attacks
More example sentences
  • This results in wasted effort as infantry battalion scouts conduct time-consuming reconnaissance of areas and routes already reconnoitered by recce troops.
  • March 25th, 1945 saw members reconnoitering the beaches at the southwest tip of Tokashika Shima, a dangerous job as the landing beach was in a cove surrounded by easily defensible high ground.
  • Early in the war Allied planners realized the value of scouts for reconnoitering enemy-held beaches.
survey, make a reconnaissance of, explore, scout (out), make a survey of, make an observation of;
find out the lie of the land, see how the land lies;
investigate, examine, spy out, scrutinize, scan, inspect, observe, take a look at, take stock of;
informal recce, make a recce of, case, case the joint, check out
British informal take a shufti round, suss out
North American informal recon


An act of reconnoitring: a nocturnal reconnoitre of the camp
More example sentences
  • He foisted the box of worthless gadgets back onto Katie then did a quick reconnoitre of their current position.
  • From their reconnoitres of the base, they knew that meant the coast was clear.
  • Once he declared the aircraft safe, I completed a final reconnoitre of the site to 50m out from the wreckage.


Early 18th century: from obsolete French reconnoître, from Latin recognoscere 'know again' (see recognize).

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.