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

Definition of explore

transitive verb

1a : to investigate, study, or analyze : look into explore the relationship between social class and learning ability sometimes used with indirect questionsto explore where ethical issues arise— R. T. Blackburn
b : to become familiar with by testing or experimenting explore new cuisines
2 : to travel over (new territory) for adventure or discovery
3 : to examine especially for diagnostic purposes explore the wound

intransitive verb

: to make or conduct a systematic search explore for oil

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Much of the game is spent exploring, prodding at available paths and backtracking to brush past old dead ends with new abilities. Wired, "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Is Strong With the Force," 15 Nov. 2019 Investigators are exploring whether there are other substances that may be contributing as well. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana leads nation in deaths from vaping related illness in outbreak that has killed 42," 14 Nov. 2019 The archaeologists from the Colombian Institute of Anthropology had been exploring the region since 1973 and had already located 199 Tairona villages. Francesc Bailón, National Geographic, "Tales of ancient treasures lured looters to Colombia's 'Lost City'," 12 Nov. 2019 The Gale Crater, the subject of Curiosity’s eerie landscape photograph, is about 100 miles wide from the rover’s vantage point on the Central Butte, a sloping rocky area the rover is currently exploring. Nina Kravinsky, Smithsonian, "See Mars’ Eerie Horizon in New Images From Curiosity Rover," 8 Nov. 2019 After recovering from her own condition, Cahalan spent five years exploring psychiatry. Naina Bajekal, Time, "She Was Misdiagnosed With Bipolar Disorder. Now She's Probing the Gaps in Our Understanding of Mental Illness," 7 Nov. 2019 Mike Tindall has spent the past month exploring Japan for the Rugby World Cup — and his family has secretly traveled with him every step of the way. Phil Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "Queen's Grandson-in-Law Mike Tindall Accidentally Reveals Candid Family Photo Saved on His Phone," 6 Nov. 2019 The agents of Tottenham players are exploring the possibility of demanding extra wages for the part their clients will play in Spurs' involvement in the latest of Amazon's All or Nothing documentary series. SI.com, "Tottenham Face Backlash Over Amazon Documentary as Agents Seek More Money for Players," 31 Oct. 2019 Also go for: Perfect weather, the best Mexican food north of the border, and afternoons spent exploring the many museums of Balboa Park. Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Most Haunted Cities in America That You Should Visit," 25 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'explore.' 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 explore

1531, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for explore

Latin explorare, from ex- + plorare to cry out

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Statistics for explore

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for explore

The first known use of explore was in 1531

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More Definitions for explore


How to pronounce explore (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of explore

: to look at (something) in a careful way to learn more about it : to study or analyze (something)
: to talk or think about (something) in a thoughtful and detailed way
: to learn about (something) by trying it


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

Kids Definition of explore

1 : to search through or into : study closely Doctors explored the spread of the disease.
2 : to go into or through for purposes of discovery or adventure explore a cave

Other Words from explore

explorer \ ik-​ˈsplȯr-​ər \ noun
ex·​plore | \ ik-ˈsplō(ə)r, -ˈsplȯ(ə)r How to pronounce explore (audio) \
explored; exploring

Medical Definition of explore

: to examine (as by surgery) especially for diagnostic purposes the abdomen may need to be explored surgically— Donald Caslow

Other Words from explore

exploration \ ˌek-​splə-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce exploration (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on explore

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for explore

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with explore

Spanish Central: Translation of explore

Nglish: Translation of explore for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of explore for Arabic Speakers

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