scope out

Also found in: Idioms.

scope 1

1. The range of one's perceptions, thoughts, or actions: broaden one's scope by reading.
2. The opportunity or possibility to function or be active: gave her imagination broad scope. See Synonyms at room.
3. The extent of a given activity or subject that is involved, treated, or relevant: the scope of the debate. See Synonyms at range.
4. The length or sweep of a mooring cable.
5. Linguistics The range over a part of a sentence or discourse that a quantifier has an effect on.

[Italian scopo, aim, purpose, from Greek skopos, target, aim; see spek- in Indo-European roots.]

scope 2

n. Informal
A viewing instrument such as a periscope, microscope, or telescope.
tr.v. scoped, scop·ing, scopes
1. To examine or investigate, especially visually: scoped the landscape for signs of wildlife.
2. To examine using an optical instrument such as a telescope or an endoscope: scoped the stars around Orion; scoped the patient's esophagus.
Phrasal Verb:
scope out
1. To make a preliminary inspection or investigation of: "That summer ... she'd scoped out a big estate auction in Bennington and spotted a beautiful burnt-umber and deep-blue Chinese rug" (Janna Malamud Smith).
2. To seek by inspecting various possibilities: "Some of the islanders are expert fishing guides, eagerly showing up at the airport for the weekly flight from Honolulu to scope out clients" (Paul Theroux).

[From -scope (as in microscope periscope, etc.). Verb, probably from noun (perhaps influenced by scope).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

scope out

vb (tr)
1. to assess the potential of an opportunity or suggestion: a scoping-out study.
2. (Commerce) to assess the potential of an opportunity or suggestion: a scoping-out study.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Royal Avenue Scoping: Karen Austin will help visitors scope out a variety of bird species from the viewing platform at the west end of Royal Avenue, 9 a.m.
The first thing we do is scope out the park map, looking for three main things: The wave pool.