1. The act of moving about an area especially by an authorized and trained person or group, for purposes of observation, inspection, or security.
2. A person or group of persons who perform such an act.
a. A military unit sent out on a reconnaissance or combat mission.
b. One or more military vehicles, boats, ships, or aircraft assigned to guard or reconnoiter a given area.
4. A division of a Boy Scout troop or Girl Scout troop consisting of between six and eight children.
v. pa·trolled, pa·trol·ling, pa·trols
To engage in a patrol of.
To engage in a patrol.
[French patrouille, from patrouiller, to patrol, alteration of Old French patouiller, to paddle about in mud, patrol, probably from pate, paw; see PATOIS.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.