Reconnaissance is checking out a situation before taking action. Often it’s used as a military term, but you could also do reconnaissance on a new employee before you hire her, or a resort before you take a vacation.

Reconnaissance is a noun, and it technically means “the act of reconnoitering.” Whoa. Never heard that word before? Reconnoitering is just a fancy way of saying that you’re checking something out — sometimes in a sneaky way. If you like a girl in your Spanish class, you might ask a friend to do some reconnaissance to find out what she’s like. The word comes from the French reconnaître, which means “recognize.”

Definitions of reconnaissance

n the act of reconnoitring (especially to gain information about an enemy or potential enemy)

“an exchange of fire occurred on a reconnaissance mission”
reconnaissance mission
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recce, recco, reccy
reconnaissance (by shortening)
exploratory survey, reconnoitering, reconnoitring, scouting
exploring in order to gain information
air reconnaissance
reconnaissance either by visual observation from the air or through the use of airborne sensors
reconnaissance by fire
a method of reconnaissance in which fire is placed on a suspected enemy position in order to cause the enemy to disclose his presence by moving or returning fire
reconnaissance in force
an offensive operation designed to discover or test the enemy's strength (or to obtain other information)
a quick look around (originally military slang)
electronic reconnaissance
the detection and identification and evaluation and location of foreign electromagnetic radiations (other than radioactive)
Type of:
intelligence, intelligence activity, intelligence operation
the operation of gathering information about an enemy

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