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 entrepreneurial Rocket Lab company also plans a parachute-probe mission to Venus, possibly as early as 2023. Robert Zubrin, National Review, "Might We Find Life on Venus?," 19 Sep. 2020 The department's probe of Princeton is being viewed by some as an overt threat against schools seeking to rectify generations of racial bias on their campuses, higher education advocates said. NBC News, "Department of Education investigating Princeton after school acknowledges systemic racism," 18 Sep. 2020 The raid was part of a sweeping public corruption probe that has led to a slew of charges against Democratic lawmakers and power players, including ex-state Sen. Martin Sandoval and Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta. Jason Meisner, chicagotribune.com, "McCook police chief indicted in extortion scheme that brought down mayor," 18 Sep. 2020 Harper's probe into Audubon comes as his time in New Orleans is nearing a close. Jessica Williams | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "In parting shot, resigning New Orleans IG says Audubon Institute possibly made unlawful deals," 18 Sep. 2020 The company’s billing practices are the subject of a continuing probe by New York state authorities. Aisha Al-muslim, WSJ, "Refund Requests Pour In for Bankrupt New York Sports Clubs Owner," 17 Sep. 2020 But Schimel’s second probe also found no law violations. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin liberal groups tell attorney general they believe they were targeted by undercover group Project Veritas," 16 Sep. 2020 The only other time the procedure has been used in Illinois history was in a 2012 probe about bribery allegations against Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago. Cole Lauterbach, Washington Examiner, "Officials allow Illinois lawmakers to investigate House speaker bribery scandal," 16 Sep. 2020 But the rest of the things—Czech lathe chucks and Swedish carbide inserts, Japanese reamers and German probe gauges, American micrometers and English punch sets—are for nobody in particular. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's Magazine, "Reason Not the Need," 15 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the float array, now 4000 strong, could not probe the large volume of water at greater depths. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "Ocean’s hidden heat measured with earthquake sounds," 17 Sep. 2020 New York's attorney general will soon form a grand jury to probe Daniel Prude's death in Rochester police custody. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for September 11: Coronavirus, election, protests, wildfires, Lesbos," 11 Sep. 2020 Attorney General William Barr selected Durham in May 2019 to probe issues related to the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation. CBS News, "Top aide to John Durham resigns from Justice Dept amid probe into origins of Russia investigation," 11 Sep. 2020 In some cases, those files were empty, most likely in an attempt to probe for vulnerable sites and, if successful, inject a malicious file later. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Hackers are exploiting a critical flaw affecting >350,000 WordPress sites," 1 Sep. 2020 The Solar Orbiter will also probe the solar dynamo, the physical process that drives the magnetic fields. Nola Taylor Redd, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Three New Tools Will Revolutionize Our Understanding of the Sun," 28 Aug. 2020 France, which has close ties to its former colony, has also sent a team of 22 investigators to help probe the cause of the blast. USA TODAY, "Lebanon president: Beirut explosion either due to negligence or missile, bomb," 7 Aug. 2020 France, which has close ties to its former colony, has also sent a team of 22 investigators to help probe the blast. Zeina Karam And Andrea Rosa, chicagotribune.com, "Rescuers in Lebanon turn up bodies trapped in rubble from massive blast," 7 Aug. 2020 France, which has close ties to its former colony, has also sent a team of 22 investigators to help probe the cause of the blast. Arkansas Online, "Lebanon president says he knew of chemicals at port in July," 7 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for probe

Time Traveler

The first known use of probe was circa 1543

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Statistics for probe

Last Updated

22 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Probe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/probe. Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for probe

probe

noun
How to pronounce probe (audio)

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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Comments on probe

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