probe

noun
\ ˈprōb How to pronounce probe (audio) \

Definition of probe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a slender medical instrument used especially for exploration (as of a wound or body cavity)
2a : 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
3a : the action of probing
b : a penetrating or critical investigation
c : a tentative exploratory advance or survey

probe

verb
probed; probing

Definition of probe (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from probe

Verb

prober noun

Choose the Right Synonym for probe

Verb

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

Examples of probe in a Sentence

Noun

The FBI probe did not produce any new evidence. a congressional probe into the accusations

Verb

His questions made it clear he was probing for information. He didn't like the police probing into his past. He didn't like the police probing him about his past. The doctor probed the wound with his finger. Searchers probed the mud with long poles. She probed the files for evidence that would help the investigation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The news poses the prospect that major changes may soon come to the Mueller probe, which Barr will oversee if he is confirmed. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Trump’s attorney general nominee wrote a memo expressing deep suspicion of the Mueller probe," 20 Dec. 2018 But Democrats could, for instance, trade probes into anti-conservative bias for new ones into antitrust matters. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Will the Democrats’ victory lead to tougher regulation of Silicon Valley? Even Europe’s tech czar isn’t sure.," 7 Nov. 2018 The president is tweeting like crazy about the Mueller probe. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: NBC journalists Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell and Hallie Jackson on Recode Decode," 5 Dec. 2018 In other news, the Mueller probe is reportedly examining the byzantine connections between Trump acolyte Roger Stone, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and the Trump campaign. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “The Whole Thing Is a Hoax!”," 18 Nov. 2018 Though the Mueller probe continues to make national waves, Illinois voters have known about the cyberattack for nearly two years now. chicagotribune.com, "Illinois elections board 'very likely' named in Mueller indictment of Russian hackers, officials say," 13 July 2018 The Justice Department declined to comment on the status of the probe. CBS News, "Government reopens investigation of Emmett Till's 1955 lynching," 12 July 2018 The Ethics Committee outlined the parameters of the probe. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Rep. David Schweikert's chief of staff steps down amid ethics probe," 9 July 2018 At the center of that standoff would be Rosenstein, who oversees the Mueller probe. Author: Carol D. Leonnig, Robert Costa, Anchorage Daily News, "As Mueller moves to finalize obstruction report, Trump’s allies ready for political battle," 17 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But densities this high cannot be probed by laboratory experiments, and remain too challenging for even today’s most powerful computers to tackle. Joshua Sokol, Scientific American, "Gravitational Waves Reveal the Hearts of Neutron Stars," 5 June 2018 Investigators are also probing claims some staffers made to the McMaster family about records related to the death being falsified. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Death of H.R. McMaster’s Father Investigated as ‘Suspicious’," 19 Apr. 2018 In other April 1-related news, investigators are now probing allegations of money-laundering at CookNSolo. Michael Klein, Philly.com, "Goldie, the falafel shop, is closing? Check the calendar," 29 Mar. 2018 The roles Sessions has played within the Trump campaign and the administration make him of prime interest to Mueller, who is probing not just possible collusion but also efforts by the president to obstruct the investigation. Julia Ainsley, NBC News, "Mueller team interviewed Sessions for hours last week in Russia probe," 23 Jan. 2018 Flynn pleaded guilty in December to making false statements to investigators probing Russian meddling in the 2016 election for special counsel Robert Mueller. NBC News, "Michael Flynn pushes for faster sentencing in Russia probe," 10 July 2018 Prosecutors will get their hands on over 4 million files seized from the former personal lawyer for President Trump after a judge on Tuesday ordered most of the materials released to investigators probing the lawyer's business dealings. CBS News, "Prosecutors to get more than 4 million files from Michael Cohen," 26 June 2018 Investigators probing the lethal June 17 collision between the Navy destroyer Fitzgerald and a civilian cargo ship in the Philippine Sea determined that its CIC failed. Carl Prine, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Navy surface warfare 'Top Gun' boss exits San Diego," 27 Apr. 2018 Investigators probing a deadly train crash in Washington State are due to question the driver and a trainee conductor who were in the cab of the locomotive at the time. Erik Larson And Pamela Maclean, Houston Chronicle, "Exxon can't dodge state climate change probes, judge says," 29 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of probe

Noun

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1543, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for probe

Noun

Medieval Latin proba examination, from Latin probare

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Statistics for probe

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for probe

The first known use of probe was circa 1543

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More Definitions for probe

probe

noun

English Language Learners Definition of probe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a careful examination or investigation of something
: a thin, long instrument that is used especially for examining parts of the body

probe

verb

English Language Learners Definition of probe (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

noun
\ ˈprōb How to pronounce probe (audio) \

Kids Definition of probe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

probe

verb
probed; probing

Kids Definition of probe (Entry 2 of 2)

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

probe

noun
\ ˈprōb How to pronounce probe (audio) \

Medical Definition of probe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

probe

verb
probed; probing

Medical Definition of probe (Entry 2 of 2)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on probe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with probe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for probe

Spanish Central: Translation of probe

Nglish: Translation of probe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of probe for Arabic Speakers

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