Main definitions of scout in English

: scout1scout2

scout1

noun

  • 1A soldier or other person sent out ahead of a main force so as to gather information about the enemy's position, strength, or movements:

    ‘forward scouts reported that the enemy were massing at two points ahead’
    [as modifier] ‘a scout vehicle’
    • ‘A scout ahead of the main group gave Seth the final signal that the men were ready to detonate the charges, by reflecting the sun in a piece of glass.’
    • ‘Collection efforts of the RSTA squadron and infantry battalion scouts should be complementary.’
    • ‘The surviving M3 tank, along with the scouts, began movement back to the main body of the 45th Infantry.’
    • ‘The scouts gathered the information they wanted without any excitement, just like the first trip, and turned onto a road that would take them out of town.’
    • ‘Many Native soldiers were used as reconnaissance scouts and snipers and were very effective at their craft and won much acclaim for their deeds.’
    • ‘In response, he began sending his advance scouts further afield as they drew closer to the enemy.’
    • ‘Then, Spetnaz troops and scouts were sent ahead of the armor to eliminate RPG-armed snipers.’
    • ‘When scouts reported a river ahead, the army dissolved into a mob and ran for it.’
    • ‘Now we have sent one of the village's best scouts to gather further information, so that our village will be prepared for an attack.’
    • ‘Some units deploy their scouts forward, while others do not.’
    • ‘With both reconnaissance scouts dead, Theorton grabbed the assault rifle of one and ducked behind the nearest boulder in sight.’
    • ‘Because they have night vision capabilities, the snipers can track and engage several enemy scouts during training.’
    • ‘As the soldiers leapt from the boats, Rhia watched them move quickly up the beach, taking up position, sending advance scouts.’
    • ‘Gadi sent ahead five scouts and they all came back with reports.’
    • ‘Advance scouts rode ahead into the darkness, but the enemy seemed to have withdrawn.’
    • ‘From here General Custer sent scouts out to ascertain the strength and locality of the enemy.’
    • ‘Just then, the scouts he had sent ahead, came running back.’
    • ‘The Indian scouts attached to Custer's overland force were among the best in the Montana and Wyoming area.’
    • ‘They were to get behind enemy lines and act as scouts and gather intelligence to feed back to British military headquarters.’
    • ‘Four days had passed before Lord Light ordered his force to a halt, and sent scouts out ahead to find the disposition of the bridge.’
    lookout, lookout man, lookout woman, outrider, advance guard, vanguard, spy
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[usually in singular] An instance of gathering information, especially by reconnoitring an area:
      ‘I returned from a lengthy scout round the area’
      • ‘He fancied a scout round Victoria but I told him I preferred Wapping instead.’
      • ‘With a preliminary scout of the area and a sketch map, we were someway nearer as to understanding where everything was in relation to each other.’
      • ‘I want to have a quick scout round.’
      reconnaissance, reconnoitre
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A ship or aircraft employed for reconnaissance, especially a small, fast aircraft:
      ‘a single-seater scout’
      • ‘Of course, that suggestion had been shot down faster than a Spectral scout.’
      • ‘The Germans had developed some new techniques - one of which was to have several layers of scouts flying in close formation, one on top of another.’
      • ‘The insignia depicted the head of an Indian scout wearing a helmet peering through a cloud, signifying the squadron's role as an aerial scout for the Army.’
      • ‘We sent a picket ship as a scout, your government destroyed half of it, and stole all the remains.’
      • ‘There are thirty fighters, two scouts, ten bombers, and three long range fighters.’
      • ‘It can direct close air support missions, act as a killer scout on the battlefield and help protect friendly troops.’
      • ‘We will also see a significant increase in the number of scouts to man UA reconnaissance formations.’
  • 2

    ‘Brock slid the ball in from 14 yards to impress watching scouts’
    short for talent scout
    • ‘And no matter how difficult it may be to discover a future superstar, the scouts are determined to search the globe until they find him.’
    • ‘My eligibility is hanging by a thread and tons of college basketball scouts are starting to show up.’
    • ‘When scouts study a college cornerback, they look for the potential to play safety.’
    • ‘Did any club scout take any snaps of our activities this year?’
    • ‘Colclough showed improvement throughout the practice week, though he might not be as fast as some scouts thought he was.’
    • ‘I knew the Brandeis shortstop had some scouts looking at him.’
    • ‘Udrih is a good ballhandler who impressed scouts with his shooting and play off the pick-and-roll.’
    • ‘An effective scout operates like a detective, working hotel lobbies and press boxes to glean information about players.’
    • ‘He has it all which is why major league scouts consider him to be the best all-around player in the game.’
    • ‘While his arm strength is considered good, Rodgers threw the ball downfield twice in the four games the scout watched.’
    • ‘He remained in the Russian League, playing with Dynamo in Moscow, until Sharks scout John Ferguson saw him while on a scouting mission.’
    • ‘Speaking of Ohio State, college rivalries are getting under the skin of some NFL college and regional scouts.’
    • ‘I had winter track coming up and I really needed to be in good shape, this was the year that all of the college scouts would be looking at me.’
    • ‘And in the estimation of one rival scout, the Cubs ‘didn't give up much of anything.’’
    • ‘Clubs employ scouts who work their whole lives to unearth such gems, so why are they then treated so casually?’
    • ‘Mornington were so successful that league clubs sent scouts to watch a number of the players.’
    • ‘I had scouts come and watch me play my junior year.’
    • ‘NBA scouts will watch him very attentively this season.’
    • ‘The 21-year-old Bradford Park Avenue striker was spotted by a college scout while he was a student at East Durham Football Academy.’
    • ‘Yes, she is on the Wade Trophy watch list and WNBA scouts have been flocking to her games, but she has virtually no name in the national press.’
    talent spotter, talent scout, recruiter
    View synonyms
  • 3A member of the Scout Association or a similar organization:

    [as modifier] ‘a scout leader’
    • ‘The Scout group has ten Cubs and 16 Beavers, both boys and girls, and there is a waiting list for new members.’
    • ‘He plans to return to the Dominican Republic this summer with a group of Scouts to build another clinic and a unit for children with special needs.’
    • ‘The challenge runs until April and the Cub Scouts and Scouts' efforts will go towards their Global Conservation badge.’
    • ‘The teenager had progressed through the Cubs and Scouts to become a Venture Scout.’
    • ‘Guides now number 24 and Brownies 20; but there are no Cubs or Scouts due to lack of leaders.’
    • ‘The ambulanceman claims it was learning first aid in the Cubs and Scouts that triggered his long and varied career in the front line.’
    • ‘Congratulations were also passed on to leaders and Scouts who received awards this year.’
    • ‘The cash will be used to renovate the Scout building, also used by Cubs, Brownies, Guides and Venture Scouts.’
    • ‘A group of Scouts rolled up their sleeves to wash cars and raise cash for archery equipment at the same time.’
    • ‘York City Scouts had also booked the rink last night for hundreds of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and leaders.’
    • ‘I am also a Cub Leader in my spare time, which came about after I finished Scouts and stayed on to help out with the younger kids.’
    • ‘Hundreds of Scouts and Guides marked the ceremonial highlight of their year with a St George's Day parade.’
    • ‘Many local organisations are taking part, such as the Scouts, Guides and Brownies.’
    • ‘Its function has much in common with the formal groups like Brownies or Scouts but is not identical.’
    • ‘Years later, I was an active member of the local Scout movement.’
    • ‘The success comes in the same month that the group also won a local Scout award for the only the second time in 32 years.’
    • ‘From 7pm Brownies, Cubs, Scouts and Guides from the York area will take to the stage for the gang show.’
    • ‘The party of local Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, leaders and family members made the journey by coach.’
    • ‘He told the Gazette that there was no shortage of boys and girls in the Cubs and Scouts, only of adult helpers.’
    • ‘She helped out with the local Scout group and was a very active member.’
  • 4A honeybee that searches for a new site for a swarm to settle or for a new food source.

    • ‘In Griffin's view, this behavior reflects each scout's awareness, at some fundamental level, of not being sure of which bee has found the best location.’
    • ‘When a honeybee colony requires a new hive site, honeybee scouts search for a cavity of suitable location, dryness, and size.’
    • ‘However, despite their physiological ability to cover large distances, it may be that scout bees of migrating swarms are disinclined to cross hostile habitat.’
    • ‘If a scout discovers a host nest, it returns to the mother colony and recruits nest mates.’
    • ‘A honeybee scout may advertise one site over a period of days, but she repeatedly inspects her choice.’
    • ‘During each visit to her candidate site, the scout wanders through it, approaching nest mates and touching them with her antennae.’
    • ‘You can just let your hive sit and wait for bees and you will have scout bees.’
  • 5A domestic worker at a college at Oxford University.

  • 6informal, dated A man or boy:

    ‘I've got nothing against old Adrian—he's a good scout’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 Make a search for someone or something in various places:

    ‘I was sent to scout around for a place to park the camper’
    ‘we scouted for clues’
    • ‘The policy should simplify the funding process for film-makers who previously had to scout around for money from various departments project by project.’
    • ‘Head to the market for tiny gourds and bunches of berries or scout in the backyard for some shapely branches with character.’
    • ‘It's time for you to pack your bags and scout for another job!’
    • ‘Some newly seeded stands may be hurt if not scouted for leafhoppers.’
    • ‘I scouted for a spot, realizing in vast horror the only place open was next to Uncle Al.’
    • ‘In fact, that was the Congress' Achilles heel as it scouted for more supporters.’
    • ‘He scouted for legal jobs in Washington, DC but received no offers.’
    • ‘‘It has all meant that we had to scout around for players to fill the gaps and it's not an easy task,’ he said.’
    • ‘I scouted for evidence of a stuck or injured fox, but found nothing.’
    • ‘He scouted for a new location and found the 28-acre Napier Garden facility ideal for the purpose.’
    • ‘I was five minutes early so I scouted for a good spot on the beach.’
    • ‘I'm going to scout around for a while and make sure there aren't any thieves.’
    • ‘Do you remember back in March we asked you to scout around at home for any old mobile phones and printer cartridges to recycle?’
    • ‘Hadman intends to scout around this weekend to establish the extent of the crisis.’
    • ‘This also gets your foot in the door so you can scout around their home to see if they have any additional art or framing needs that your business could meet.’
    • ‘Lexi asked about this as they scouted for any wild dogs that might ruin their hunt.’
    • ‘Under the watchful eyes of promoters and fans, she moved nimbly around semifinal competitor Stephanie Thomas and scouted for an opening.’
    • ‘Observe the effectiveness of transgenic hybrids and insecticide control methods and learn how to dig roots and scout for rootworm larvae.’
    • ‘Hawaiian ecologists have long scouted for invading brown tree snakes, which occasionally stow away on planes landing in Honolulu.’
    • ‘Once our three years is up, we scout around for the best deal and re-mortgage again, if necessary.’
    search, look, hunt, cast about, cast around, cast round, ferret, ferret about, ferret around, root about, root around
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (especially of a soldier) go ahead of a main force so as to gather information about an enemy's position, strength, or movements:
      ‘outriders went scouting for small settlements to loot’
      • ‘One of the posthumous VCs, with another rifleman, was scouting ahead of a strong fighting patrol.’
      • ‘Slaves helped Unionists evade conscription, and both groups spied and scouted for Federal troops.’
      • ‘The men are sent out on patrol to scout out the enemy position.’
      • ‘Born on a Cherokee reservation, Threepersons scouted for Gen. Blackjack Pershing on his expedition after Pancho Villa in 1916.’
      • ‘As fire burned from where the bunkers once stood, Joe's remaining troops went ahead to scout for any enemy forces left.’
      • ‘In addition the crusaders used light cavalry and horse archers in large numbers to harass the enemy, to scout, and to supplement the knights.’
      • ‘The Federal forces at Helena in the summer of 1862 did little more than scout within a forty - to fifty-mile radius of the river city.’
      • ‘Quickly flicking the C stick down will activate the gadget, and it often comes in quite handy while scouting for enemy soldiers.’
      • ‘We were only about 3 km outside the roadblocks around the Forêt but were not detected by enemy patrols scouting widely throughout the area.’
      • ‘I have several teams of men out scouting for information that might lead us to him.’
      • ‘Clement halted his army and signaled for his scout to ride ahead of the army to scout for enemies ahead.’
    2. 1.2[with object] Explore or examine (a place or area of business) so as to gather information about it:
      ‘American companies are keen to scout out business opportunities’
      • ‘There was a dispute over what to do in the morning - scout out the surrounding area, or put everyone to work building a settlement.’
      • ‘He looked down to the town below them, nervously scouting the streets for a sign of the men they had seen last night.’
      • ‘We will actually scout a place many times, checking it out in the daytime and night-time.’
      • ‘The screenwriter is expected to deliver a first draft of the script this month, about the time Donner will be scouting locations in France.’
      • ‘There were three of us who left the field together and scouted the park for we had never seen it empty.’
      • ‘Schools are proposed to grant high-tech degrees while businessmen scout various ports to set up shore-based facilities.’
      • ‘First, it developed an unmanned small helicopter to scout dangerous terrain.’
      • ‘He had scouted the place the previous evening in preparation for today's shoot.’
      • ‘Putting that aside, I scouted the room for people I knew, slightly reassured to see Jane.’
      • ‘The project is now scouting summit sites in areas with large exoffender populations and plans to hold five summits by the end of 2005.’
      • ‘Last year, I scouted this photo location near Griffith Park.’
      • ‘Producers should scout fields and determine if the action threshold has been exceeded.’
      • ‘He has spent the week down in Nicaragua, scouting real estate investment possibilities.’
      • ‘When you are scouting an area, a GPS is the perfect tool for mapping and relocating roosting areas and routes.’
      • ‘The airline is scouting new areas for market expansion in the region and has singled out St Lucia.’
      • ‘I'd scouted the area last month and found two possibilities.’
      • ‘Once an enterprising hornet scouts out a bee colony, it marks the nest with a type of bodily chemical substance called a pheromone.’
      • ‘Wilmer found and fell in love with his studio, a former warehouse, on his first day scouting business space in Sausalito.’
      • ‘Those on foot will be in the middle with some more experienced rangers ahead of us scouting out the land.’
      • ‘Although specimens have occasionally been found here, I have not thoroughly scouted this area, and a more extensive investigation could be productive.’
      reconnoitre, explore, take a look at, make a reconnaissance of, inspect, investigate, spy out, survey, make a survey of
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Look for suitably talented people for recruitment to one's own organization or sports team:
      ‘Butcher has been scouting for United’
      • ‘In his retirement he lived in Dorset where - as a keen football fan - he scouted for Bournemouth and Dorchester football clubs.’
      • ‘He also scouted for the Padres and Angels, and served an executive stint with the Oakland A's after the 1982 season.’
      • ‘That made NBA teams a little wary of him, especially teams that want to scout in China.’
      • ‘At one time, the team was scouting top cornerbacks.’
      • ‘The team says it scouted both pitchers heavily.’
      • ‘It's a decision Kindler makes based on the talent he scouts at the festival.’
      • ‘I'm not sure if he's scouting future talent or having a little professorial fun with us.’
      • ‘He also scouted for the Pirates and recommended the drafting of Roberto Clemente.’
      • ‘In his final year of junior hockey and still a free agent, several NHL teams have scouted him and he hopes to get an NHL tryout next fall.’
      • ‘He scouted for the Pirates from 1950 to 1988, and then for the Astros for five more years.’
      • ‘After his playing days were over, he fanned in Iowa, and scouted for the White Sox.’
      • ‘After spending the last three years scouting for clubs in the Football League, Roscrow has amassed a vast knowledge of the non-league scene.’
      • ‘He chose to scout some of the team's top minor leaguers rather than attend the World Series.’
      • ‘Bush scouted for the Oilers from 1987 through 1991 then coached the teams' linebackers from 1992 through 1994.’
      • ‘The idea is not to scout for talented cricketers for the Indian women's team but to make women come out of their homes and play the game.’
      • ‘There are many people from outside the U.S. involved in scouting or evaluating talent all over the world.’
      • ‘If Missouri loses a great prospect or two because other teams are scouting and making living-room pitches, the impact will linger.’
      • ‘The music director spoke of his keen interest in programmes that scouted for new voices.’
      • ‘At the same time, they'll be scouting out potential talent for their live music venues.’
      • ‘All 16 drivers have been selected through the Red Bull Driver Search Programme, which scouts out young talent from all corners of the globe.’

Phrases

  • scout's honour

    • 1The oath taken by a Scout.

      1. 1.1informal Used to indicate that one has the honourable standards associated with Scouts, and so will stand by a promise or tell the truth:
        ‘‘Did you mention about a job for Leslie to him?’ Veronica asked. ‘Not yet, but I will, Scout's honour,’ Jimmy assured her’
        • ‘He'll watch his mouth next time, Scout's honor.’
        • ‘I'll be there tomorrow night, Scout's honor!’
        • ‘‘Okay, I won't do anything irrational,’ I said as I lifted up my hands, put up my first two fingers and folded the rest back,‘Scout's honour.’’

Origin

Late Middle English (as a verb): from Old French escouter listen, earlier ascolter, from Latin auscultare. scout (early 18th century) is of uncertain origin.

Pronunciation:

scout

/skaʊt/

Main definitions of scout in English

: scout1scout2

scout2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]rare
  • Reject (a proposal or idea) with scorn:

    ‘he scouts the claim that the aristocrats cared much for the art treasures their ancestors had bought’
    • ‘Despite her tender letters to her guru, he sensibly scouts the idea that the two were lovers.’

Origin

Early 17th century: of Scandinavian origin; compare with Old Norse skúta, skúti a taunt.

Pronunciation:

scout

/skaʊt/