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 stones - between 2mm and 4mm - were not visible on a CT scan, but doctors conducted emergency exploratory surgery expecting to find around 20 masses. Fox News, "Surgeon removes 4,100 gallstones from patient complaining of abdominal pain," 29 May 2018 Shortly after announcing her exploratory committee, Warren hired Brendan Summers, who managed Sanders’ 2016 Iowa campaign. Juana Summers, The Seattle Times, "Sen. Bernie Sanders says he’s running for president in 2020," 20 Feb. 2019 Lawmakers asked Hafner about a campaign document that showed Greitens would be traveling to Hong Kong during the exploratory phase of his campaign. Bryan Lowry And Steve Vockrodt, kansascity, "Greitens campaign sought to conceal donors' identities, former staffer testifies | The Kansas City Star," 2 May 2018 Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, a Democrat still in the exploratory phase of the race, has raised close to $230,000 since beginning his campaign in December. Russell Blair, courant.com, "Finance Reports Show Wealthy Businessmen Are Pouring Their Cash Into Outsider Gubernatorial Bids," 12 Apr. 2018 Kushner is revisiting the play for the Trump era, but the project is still at an exploratory phase and a more significant drama from his past is eclipsing all other activities. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Tony Kushner, thinking citizen: The playwright on 'Angels in America,' 'West Side Story' and surviving Trump," 30 Mar. 2018 Over the past few weeks, Democrats started to form presidential exploratory committees en masse, and rumors circulated that former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg had plans to run for president. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Michael Bloomberg Confirms He Will Not Run for President as an Independent," 28 Jan. 2019 Swartzlander is leading an exploratory study through NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New NASA Satellite Could Be Powered By a Synthetic Solar Sail," 17 July 2018 An exploratory committee usually is a formality before a candidate launches a presidential campaign. Paul J. Weber, The Seattle Times, "APNewsBreak: Julian Castro moves toward 2020 White House run," 12 Dec. 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

10 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for exploratory

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- How to pronounce exploratory (audio) \

Medical Definition of exploratory

: of, relating to, or being exploration exploratory surgery

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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 range of authority or knowledge

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