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 ruling also opens the way to explore how SDPD handles reviews of police shootings. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Appeals court revives lawsuit over controversial 2015 SDPD shooting in Midway," 12 July 2019 Allowing diners to explore an open world rather than locking their journey onto rigid rails takes confidence and a lot of planning. Ali Bouzari, SFChronicle.com, "Housemade: The science behind a feast of flavor pairings at Kismet in Los Angeles," 12 July 2019 Following George's departure, Westbrook and general manager Sam Presti both reportedly understood that the time had likely come to explore the All-Star guard's trade possibilities after 11 years together. Alaa Abdeldaiem, SI.com, "Report: Thunder Trade Russell Westbrook to Rockets for Chris Paul," 10 July 2019 First, a giant bear entered the matriarch's red Prius, followed by its cubs scooting in to explore the vehicle. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "You've Got to Watch This Hilarious Video of a Bear and Its Cub Trespassing a Family's Car in Gatlinburg," 10 July 2019 Unlike many successful musicians, Piyawat didn't begin to fully explore his passion for music until his teenage years, joining his high school's marching band as a trombone player. Karla Cripps, CNN, "Meet the rebel Thai composer taking music to unheard heights," 10 July 2019 And with all its historical burden, the South is nearly impossible to succinctly explore. Michael Washburn, Longreads, "Tom Petty’s Problematic Album Southern Accents," 9 July 2019 In the coming months, the Orlando Sentinel will continue to explore infant and maternal mortality in Central Florida, focusing on trends and statistics. Naseem S. Miller, orlandosentinel.com, "Infant mortality: One family’s journey after losing 16-day-old son," 8 July 2019 Now young circus artists have created a new performance piece to explore the roots of the tragedy and its aftermath. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Open Ring Circus troupe creates performance in honor of 1944 Hartford circus fire," 8 July 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

15 Jul 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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