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 questions to 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

The below gallery explores exactly how the launcher works as of today's launch. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Rockstar Games Launcher: We install it on Windows so you don’t have to [Updated]," 17 Sep. 2019 While the play’s themes can be construed as sexist or misogynistic, students in the cast and crew are exploring precisely who is taming whom by examining the play with their modern lens. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Clements Theatre explores who is actually being tamed in Shakespeare’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew’," 16 Sep. 2019 Today’s stories explore , Israel’s fractious divide over religion and state, the use of subterfuge in state politics, the role of immigrants in the food industry, and the dearth of political satire in American culture. The Christian Science Monitor, "the viability of centrism in U.S. politics," 16 Sep. 2019 The team is still exploring medical options with the junior defensive lineman, who has an issue with his foot/ankle and left Saturday’s game against South Carolina. Matt Zenitz | Mzenitz@al.com, al, "Nick Saban provides update on injured defensive lineman," 16 Sep. 2019 Set off on an Alpine journey from the foot of the Jungfrau to the crooked peak of the Matterhorn, and explore in myriad ways: by zip line, mountain bike, or canyoneering. National Geographic, "Swiss and French Alps Expedition: Mountain Adventure," 15 Sep. 2019 The company is exploring whether to seek an exemption from the FDA for mint and menthol, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly about Juul’s plans. Catherine Ho, SFChronicle.com, "What new federal action on e-cigarettes means for Juul," 14 Sep. 2019 Our team is exploring how fungi begin to colonize the newborn gut and what happens when this process goes awry. Kent Willis, The Conversation, "The womb isn’t sterile – healthy babies are born with bacteria and fungi in their guts," 13 Sep. 2019 Plato explored the difference between a belief that is only an opinion, and one that qualifies as knowledge, in the dialogue called Theaetetus (p. 201), which features the words of Socrates, his teacher. Rashmee Roshan Lall, Quartz, "Only Plato can explain the confusion over Brexit in the UK’s highest courts," 13 Sep. 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

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for explore

The first known use of explore was in 1531

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More Definitions for explore



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


transitive verb
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with explore

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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