probe

noun
\ˈprōb \

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 report also said that Strzok repeatedly pushed for more aggressive action in the Clinton probe. Erin Kelly, USA TODAY, "FBI agent Peter Strzok: My personal opinion of Trump did not affect my work," 12 July 2018 The animals’ ovaries are over a metre deep inside them, meaning that the extraction procedure, which employs a probe with a sharp needle attached to it to suck the eggs out, is hazardous. The Economist, "IVF may bring northern white rhinos back from the brink of extinction," 4 July 2018 The biggest firm in the probe is LPL Financial LLC. Coulter Jones, WSJ, "Regulators Step Up Scrutiny of Sales of Private Stakes," 2 July 2018 Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe is on track to arrive at a kilometer-wide asteroid called Ryugu on June 27. Jeremy Hsu, Scientific American, "Japan’s Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Nears Its Target, the Asteroid Ryugu," 26 June 2018 The Sosa connection to the Opa-locka corruption probe was through Santiago. Jay Weaver, miamiherald, "Opa-locka fixer Dante Starks pleads guilty, may implicate top politicians," 25 June 2018 The Florida meeting adds another layer of complexity to Stone's involvement in the Russia probe. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump associate Roger Stone reveals new contact with Russian national during 2016 campaign," 17 June 2018 Temps kept rising slightly during the six years that the probes were functional. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Astronauts’ Footprints May Have Warmed the Moon," 14 June 2018 The Vekselberg connection also sheds new light on what had been a curious episode in the Russia probe. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Michael Cohen, Trump’s Man of Mystery," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Wray has vowed to discipline those still at the FBI whose conduct the inspector general questioned, and already, the bureau has taken steps toward firing agent Peter Strzok, who once led the Clinton email and Russia probes. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "Rosenstein, Wray to testify before House Judiciary Committee on inspector general’s report," 28 June 2018 Around the hour mark, Pione Sisto launched a probing ball into the opposition area that Andreas Cornelius should have done better with. SI.com, "Denmark 0-0 France: Les Bleus Play Out World Cup's First Goalless Draw in Dire Denmark Tie," 26 June 2018 Grassley is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is among congressional panels conducting their own Russia probes. Susan Heavey, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump lashes out again after FBI raids on his lawyer," 10 Apr. 2018 Its best passages appeal to the mind's eye alone, and its fanciful tone (which gives it the air of a classic fairy tale despite L'Engle's focus on modern science) is too delicate for DuVernay's probing sensibility. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Ava DuVernay transported us to Selma, but outer space is another matter," 8 Mar. 2018 While keeping inside the lines of a classic whodunit plot, Verdon enriches the formula with a probing analysis of the way a community rips itself apart. Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, "Hate Thy Neighbor. Or Maybe Just Kill Him.," 6 July 2018 Investigators at the Office of Special Counsel, on the Hill and at the EPA’s inspector general’s office continue to probe an array of spending and managment decisions during Pruitt’s time in office. Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, "Pruitt aides reveal new details of his spending and management at EPA," 2 July 2018 Investigators uncovered several problems but no root cause, and continue to probe the system. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "Commander halted Randolph training flights over pilots’ concerns," 28 June 2018 These fears extend to Washington, where Congress continues to probe Facebook over how political content and user data was manipulated during the 2016 election. Fortune, "Do Tech Companies Really Censor Political Views? Most Americans Think So," 28 June 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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Learn More about probe

Phrases Related to probe

space probe

Statistics for probe

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

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 \

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 \

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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