General English


  • noun a person who searches for something, especially someone who looks for promising new members of staff


  • noun a fielder
    Citation ‘It fell upon the tip of the bat and bounded far away over the heads of the scouts’ (Dickens, Pickwick Papers 1837, ch 7)
  • verb to field, or act as a scout retrieving balls
    Citation ‘The small boys of the neighbourhood gather to field (or scout, as they call it) for the members at the nets’ (Daily Chronicle 14 August 1908)


  • noun a person sent out on a reconnaissance
  • noun a person or vehicle which moves ahead of a grouping, in order to find a suitable route or locate the enemy
  • noun
    (written as Scout)
    a small British-made utility helicopter


  • noun a person who looks out for something


  • verb to look for talented players for a sports team

Origin & History of “scout”

Etymologically, a scout is someone who ‘listens’. For the word goes back ultimately to Latin auscultāre ‘listen’, a derivative of the same base that produced Latin auris ‘ear’ (source of English aural (19th c.) and distantly related to English ear). this passed into Old French as escouter ‘listen’ (its modern descendant is écouter), which English adopted as the verb scout, meaning ‘look about, spy’. The noun, from the French derivative escoute, followed in the 15th century.