Definition of reconnaissance in English:



mass noun
  • 1Military observation of a region to locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features.

    ‘an excellent aircraft for low-level reconnaissance’
    count noun ‘after a reconnaissance British forces took the island’
    • ‘Each of these systems brought some degree of unique reconnaissance capability to the squadron.’
    • ‘Additionally, there is a finite amount of terrain that supports the movement of reconnaissance forces.’
    • ‘It is commonly accepted that military reconnaissance is an indispensable necessity and inherent component of war.’
    • ‘Two British military liaison and reconnaissance teams have also been deployed - one to Colombo and the second to Indonesian capital Jakarta.’
    • ‘The commander must be ready to adjust his reconnaissance focus as the situation changes or develops.’
    • ‘Ark Royal launched many reconnaissances for gun positions and mines from March 13-17.’
    • ‘It can also carry out reconnaissance, combat support and patrol missions.’
    • ‘French, German and US reconnaissance planes would be allowed to patrol the skies.’
    • ‘Eisenhower found out about British preparations for war from US reconnaissance photos.’
    • ‘Several apparent terrorist reconnaissance missions at key sites had been observed, the newspaper said.’
    • ‘A whole new sphere of high-level photographic reconnaissance and its interpretation was to spring from this advance.’
    • ‘They had to give higher priority to this task if they wanted to avoid enemy air reconnaissance and artillery spotting.’
    • ‘Our snipers and reconnaissance Marines excelled at this task, as one would expect of trained observers.’
    • ‘Within a decade of that first flight, balloons were used for military reconnaissance in France.’
    • ‘It will predominantly feature surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.’
    • ‘A Pentagon spokesman said a coalition air reconnaissance patrol came under fire and called in air strikes.’
    • ‘This indicates that we underestimated the importance of aerial reconnaissance during the war.’
    • ‘Sections and platoons conduct reconnaissance patrols there daily.’
    • ‘Are your soldiers familiar with this route, and have they conducted a route reconnaissance?’
    • ‘For the most part it was considered that air forces would be used primarily for scouting and reconnaissance missions, both overland and at sea.’
    preliminary survey, survey, exploration, observation, investigation, examination, inspection, probe, scrutiny, scan
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Preliminary surveying or research.
      ‘conducting client reconnaissance’
      • ‘When we arrived, Mason was still asleep, so I left the rest of the team in the car to conduct a bit of reconnaissance.’
      • ‘The Americans were part of a reconnaissance team looking to reopen previously shut oil wells.’
      • ‘Thus, they may be carrying out reconnaissance of areas for future breeding or staging sites.’
      • ‘I did carry out a detailed reconnaissance but must have missed the signs suggesting this was a private road.’


Early 19th century: from French, from reconnaître ‘recognize’ (see reconnoitre).