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).]

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.
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.