ex·​plore ik-ˈsplȯr How to pronounce explore (audio)
explored; exploring

transitive verb

: to investigate, study, or analyze : look into
explore the relationship between social class and learning ability
sometimes used with indirect questions
to explore where ethical issues ariseR. T. Blackburn
: to become familiar with by testing or experimenting
explore new cuisines
: to travel over (new territory) for adventure or discovery
: to examine especially for diagnostic purposes
explore the wound

intransitive verb

: to make or conduct a systematic search
explore for oil

Examples of explore in a Sentence

Researchers are exploring how language is acquired by children. The book explores a number of controversial issues. You need to explore your feelings on this subject more carefully. an opportunity to explore different activities The children were encouraged to explore mathematics. I decided to go out and explore the town. They were sent to explore unknown regions of Africa. See More
Recent Examples on the Web For her next project, Paisley hopes to continue exploring solitude in Guadeloupe, but in relation to local island artists. Shayeza Walid, Variety, 18 Feb. 2024 How to Get Around Bath is best explored by foot, although its hills and cobblestones aren’t for the faint of heart. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 18 Feb. 2024 But the administration is exploring other ways to fund some of the work that UNRWA has done in Gaza and elsewhere, including possibly redirecting money to the World Food Program. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2024 Race is obviously an important theme for her, yet so is her focus on the mundane — on boredom, something rarely explored in art and often reserved only for white people. M.h. Miller, New York Times, 17 Feb. 2024 As seas rise, others are exploring how to harness marine energy. Chico Harlan, Washington Post, 6 Feb. 2024 Now, a team of archaeologists from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań have started exploring the site — and have unearthed a number of ancient discoveries. Moira Ritter, Miami Herald, 5 Feb. 2024 The findings mark another step forward in astronomers' mission to understand what atmospheric conditions are needed to sustain life and further explore the characteristics of exoplanets beyond our solar system, NASA said. Leah Sarnoff, ABC News, 5 Feb. 2024 Each episode introduces new ways for children to explore strategic problem-solving and creativity while finding solutions to some very real everyday problems. Tanay Howard, Parents, 5 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'explore.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin explorare, from ex- + plorare to cry out

First Known Use

1531, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of explore was in 1531

Dictionary Entries Near explore

Cite this Entry

“Explore.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/explore. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


ex·​plore ik-ˈsplō(ə)r How to pronounce explore (audio)
explored; exploring
: to search through : look into
exploring new ideas
: to go into or travel over for purposes of discovery or adventure
explore a cave
explore the moon
: to examine carefully and in detail especially in order to make a diagnosis
explore a wound
: to make a careful search
explore for oil

Medical Definition


transitive verb
explored; exploring
: to examine (as by surgery) especially for diagnostic purposes
the abdomen may need to be explored surgicallyDonald Caslow
exploration noun

More from Merriam-Webster on explore

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