ex·​plor·​er | \ ik-ˈsplȯr-ər How to pronounce explorer (audio) \

Definition of explorer

1 : one that explores especially : a person who travels in search of geographical or scientific information
2 capitalized : a member of a coed scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America for young people ages 14 to 20 focusing on career awareness

Examples of explorer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 1975, the Foreign Office sent Lord Shackleton—a former Labour Party leader in the House of Lords and a son of the Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton—to the Falklands to assess their prospects. Larissa Macfarquhar, The New Yorker, "How Prosperity Transformed the Falklands," 29 June 2020 Top lawmakers in Sacramento announced that the marble sculpture of the Italian explorer and Queen Isabella would be removed. Kellie Hwang, SFChronicle.com, "These are the California statues being removed amid calls for racial justice," 25 June 2020 Statues of the Italian explorer have been targeted amid nationwide protests against police brutality. Mark Dunphy, ExpressNews.com, "Columbus statue at park vandalized," 25 June 2020 The old name has drawn criticism because of the eponymous explorer’s treatment of indigenous people. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "How Thirsty for Change is Ohio?," 24 June 2020 Many cities have moved to take down statues and monuments honoring Confederate figures, and monuments to Christopher Columbus have been criticized because of the explorer's cruel treatment of indigenous people. David Williams, CNN, "Protesters tore down a George Washington statue and set a fire on its head," 19 June 2020 Or channel your inner Nat Geo explorer in your own backyard by designing a wildlife-friendly garden. National Geographic, "Top staycation ideas and other ways to globetrot at home," 20 May 2020 Here, mimicking the first high-Arctic voyage, made in 1893 by Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian explorer, her captain fixed her into an ice floe that carried her along at about 7km/h, courtesy of an ocean current called the transpolar drift stream. The Economist, "A floating Arctic laboratory An icebreaker called Polarstern is revealing the Arctic’s secrets," 20 June 2020 The move was hailed by groups that say Columbus statues depict the explorer’s genocidal cleansing of the New World and exploitation of Native people, and opposed by Italian-Americans who say the statues are works of art that should be preserved. Dean Narciso, Cincinnati.com, "Columbus removing Christopher Columbus statue at City Hall," 18 June 2020

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

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for explorer

Time Traveler

The first known use of explorer was in 1577

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Statistics for explorer

Last Updated

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Explorer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/explorer. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for explorer


ex·​plor·​er | \ ik-ˈsplōr-ər, -ˈsplȯr- How to pronounce explorer (audio) \

Medical Definition of explorer

: an instrument for exploring cavities especially in teeth : probe sense 1

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