1

probe

play
noun \ ˈprōb \

Definition of probe

1 :a slender medical instrument used especially for exploration (as of a wound or body cavity)
2 a :any of various testing devices or substances: such as
(1) :a pointed metal tip for making electrical contact with a circuit element being checked
(2) :a usually small object that is inserted into something so as to test conditions at a given point
(3) :a device used to penetrate or send back information especially from outer space or a celestial body
(4) :a device (such as an ultrasound generator) or a substance (such as radioactively labeled DNA) used to obtain specific information for diagnostic or experimental purposes
b :a pipe on the receiving airplane thrust into the drogue of the delivering airplane in air refueling
3 a :the action of probing
b :a penetrating or critical investigation
c :a tentative exploratory advance or survey

Examples of probe in a Sentence

  1. The FBI probe did not produce any new evidence.

  2. a congressional probe into the accusations

Recent Examples of probe from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'probe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of probe

Medieval Latin proba examination, from Latin probare

Other Aeronautics/Aerospace Terms


2

probe

verb

Definition of probe

probed; probing
transitive verb
1 :to search into and explore very thoroughly :subject to a penetrating investigation
2 :to examine with a probe
  • unmanned vehicles probed space
intransitive verb
:to make a searching exploratory investigation

prober

noun

Examples of probe in a Sentence

  1. His questions made it clear he was probing for information.

  2. He didn't like the police probing into his past.

  3. He didn't like the police probing him about his past.

  4. The doctor probed the wound with his finger.

  5. Searchers probed the mud with long poles.

  6. She probed the files for evidence that would help the investigation.

Recent Examples of probe from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'probe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of probe

circa 1543

probe Synonyms

Synonyms
delve (into), dig (into), examine, inquire (into), investigate, look (into), explore, research
Related Words
inspect, sift, study, view; browse, cruise, peruse, scan, skim (through), surf, thumb (through); coinvestigate, reinvestigate

Synonym Discussion of probe

enter, penetrate, pierce, probe mean to make way into something. enter is the most general of these and may imply either going in or forcing a way in.
    • entered the city in triumph
penetrate carries a strong implication of an impelling force or compelling power that achieves entrance.
    • the enemy penetrated the fortress
pierce means an entering or cutting through with a sharp pointed instrument.
    • pierced the boil with a lancet
probe implies penetration to investigate or explore something hidden from sight or knowledge.
    • probed the depths of the sea


PROBE Defined for English Language Learners

probe

play
noun

Definition of probe for English Language Learners

  • : a careful examination or investigation of something

  • : a thin, long instrument that is used especially for examining parts of the body


probe

verb

Definition of probe for English Language Learners

  • : to ask a lot of questions in order to find secret or hidden information about someone or something

  • : to touch or reach into (something) by using your finger, a long tool, etc., in order to see or find something

  • : to look into or examine (something) carefully


PROBE Defined for Kids

1

probe

play
noun \ ˈprōb \

Definition of probe for Students

1 :a slender instrument for examining a cavity (as a deep wound)
2 :a careful investigation

2

probe

verb

Definition of probe for Students

probed; probing
1 :to examine with or as if with an instrument
2 :to investigate thoroughly

Medical Dictionary

1

probe

play
noun \ ˈprōb \

medical Definition of probe

1 :a surgical instrument that consists typically of a light slender fairly flexible pointed metal instrument like a small rod that is used typically for locating a foreign body (as a bullet embedded in a part of the body), for exploring a wound or suppurative tract by prodding or piercing, or for penetrating and exploring bodily passages and cavities
2 :a device (as an ultrasound generator) or a substance (as radioactively labeled DNA) used to obtain specific information (as detection of a virus or location of specific segments of a nucleic acid) for diagnostic or experimental purposes
  • the radioactive probe revealed the distribution of molecules in the membrane

2

probe

verb

medical Definition of probe

probed; probing
transitive verb
:to examine with or as if with a probe
  • probe a wound
intransitive verb
:to search by using a probe
  • probe for a bullet


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