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or reconnoissance

[ri-kon-uh-suh ns, -zuh ns] /rɪˈkɒn ə səns, -zəns/
the act of reconnoitering.
Military. a search made for useful military information in the field, especially by examining the ground.
Surveying, Civil Engineering. a general examination or survey of a region, usually followed by a detailed survey.
Geology. an examination or survey of the general geological characteristics of a region.
Origin of reconnaissance
1800-10; < French; Middle French reconoissance recognizance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for reconnaissance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This was the cutting off of twenty men of Lumsden's Horse in a reconnaissance at Karee.

    The Great Boer War Arthur Conan Doyle
  • It was already dusk when we returned from the reconnaissance.

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill
  • If the enemy's cavalry has been overthrown, the rôle of reconnaissance will have been rendered easier.

    Sir John French Cecil Chisholm
  • It was just then that Sir James rode back from his reconnaissance.

    Two Sides of the Face Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • Fighting in the air had by 1916 become a regular incident of reconnaissance work.

    The War in the Air; Vol. 1 Walter Raleigh.
British Dictionary definitions for reconnaissance


the act of reconnoitring
the process of obtaining information about the position, activities, resources, etc, of an enemy or potential enemy
a preliminary inspection of an area of land before an engineering survey is made
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Old French reconoistre to explore, recognize
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for reconnaissance

1810, from French reconnaissance "act of surveying," literally "recognition," from Old French reconoissance "recognition, acknowledgement" (see recognizance).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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