ex·​plor·​ato·​ry | \ ik-ˈsplȯr-ə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce exploratory (audio) \

Definition of exploratory

: of, relating to, or being exploration exploratory surgery exploratory drilling for oil

Examples of exploratory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The only prominent candidate who has formed an exploratory campaign besides Mr. Faulconer is Republican John Cox, a businessman who lost to Mr. Newsom in 2018 by 24 percentage points. Christine Mai-duc, WSJ, "California Gov. Gavin Newsom Faces Recall Effort Amid Anger Over Covid-19 Restrictions," 25 Jan. 2021 Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has formed an exploratory committee. Aaron Navarro, CBS News, "Recall threats are common in California. But the latest one against Gavin Newsom might get further than most," 1 Feb. 2021 Now, Rice is all but sure to face at least a handful of primary challengers, with one formally creating an exploratory committee this past week. Meg Kinnard, Star Tribune, "South Carolina GOP censures Rep. Rice for impeachment vote," 30 Jan. 2021 The 49ers figure to be among a host of teams that will at least engage in exploratory conversations about acquiring Stafford, 32, who ranks among the top 20 in NFL history in completions, passing yards and touchdown passes. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "Lions looking to trade Matthew Stafford; 49ers logical suitors," 23 Jan. 2021 The Barclay Brass filled the church with its own indefinable power that night, more austere than Rush but no less eccentric or exploratory. Washington Post, "With the Barclay Brass, D.C. takes an outsized role in the small world of classical brass music," 4 Jan. 2021 Deep sea mining companies are already doing exploratory work to prepare to harvest these valuable substances at scale. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "The Oldest Crewed Deep Sea Submarine Just Got a Big Makeover," 21 Dec. 2020 And in 2015, the ICC opened an exploratory review into the 2014 Gaza conflict after the Palestinian Authority sent a complaint about war crimes committed by the Israeli military. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Is the ICC corrupted by China?," 23 Dec. 2020 This exploratory technique sends sound waves into the ground a grid pattern to detect potential oil deposits. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "Drilling for Oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Two Perspectives from Alaskan Outdoorsmen," 21 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exploratory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of exploratory

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for exploratory

Time Traveler

The first known use of exploratory was in the 15th century

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Statistics for exploratory

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exploratory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exploratory. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for exploratory



English Language Learners Definition of exploratory

: done or created to find something or to learn more about something


ex·​plor·​ato·​ry | \ ik-ˈsplōr-ə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˈsplȯr-, -ˌtȯr- How to pronounce exploratory (audio) \

Medical Definition of exploratory

: of, relating to, or being exploration exploratory surgery

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