ex·​plor·​ato·​ry | \ik-ˈsplȯr-ə-ˌtȯr-ē \

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

Finally, in 2014, Napier underwent an exploratory surgery on her ob/gyn’s guidance. Korin Miller, SELF, "HGTV 'Home Town' Star Erin Napier Had an Undiagnosed Perforated Appendix for Years," 22 Oct. 2018 Although most financial institutions and investors are still in the exploratory phase, some early signs of what will happen are emerging. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Opportunity zones: vital community development tool or tax windfall for the rich?," 3 Oct. 2018 Smith wanted the exploratory rules package used in the All-Star race and embraced by fans, and the roval is just the next uncharted step. Fox News, "NASCAR's radical 'roval' race in Charlotte could be the event of the year," 27 Sep. 2018 Of course, only Brown can reveal his true motivations for the exploratory visit, but some in the IndyCar paddock believe Alonso’s frustration is among the primary instigators. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: McLaren seems destined to be part of IndyCar's future — one way or another," 4 June 2018 Please's food is exploratory, boundary-crossing, incautious. Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, "The best restaurant of 2017 is ...," 11 Jan. 2018 The high point came in 2015, when the two sides actually met in person near Islamabad, Pakistan, for exploratory talks. Rod Nordland And Mujib Mashal, New York Times, "Taliban’s Rare Silence on Talks Charges Up a New Peace Conference," 27 Mar. 2018 In fact, however, many meetings or conversations are exploratory in nature. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Magic Mailbag: What’s the deal with Orlando’s point guard situation?," 12 July 2018 Taylor gave birth in March, so Taurasi is very much in the exploratory parenting stage, getting a kick out of the fact that little Leo can, among other things, poop all over his own neck. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: Diana Taurasi Still Putting On Shows In Connecticut," 14 July 2018

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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Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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

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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- \

Medical Definition of exploratory 

: of, relating to, or being exploration exploratory surgery

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More from Merriam-Webster on exploratory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exploratory

Spanish Central: Translation of exploratory

Nglish: Translation of exploratory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exploratory for Arabic Speakers

Comments on exploratory

What made you want to look up exploratory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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