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

Other politicians have reacted to the news of an additional FBI probe. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "President Trump Orders Week-Long FBI Investigation into Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh," 29 Sep. 2018 While heading a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) probe into the collapse of the towers, W. Gene Corley studied the airplane wreckage. Popular Mechanics, "Debunking 9/11 Myths: About the Airplanes," 11 Sep. 2018 The indictments were announced Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as part of the ongoing special counsel probe into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. CBS News, "Trump responds to Russian hacking indictment by blaming Obama administration," 14 July 2018 But the probe into the airfare payment soon stalled, and Sidley Austin withdrew after city officials balked at high legal fees. J. Scott Trubey, ajc, "Kasim Reed’s South Africa trip probe restarts after concerns about cost," 3 July 2018 Federal authorities have arrested three State Police troopers, two recently retired and one currently suspended, amid an ongoing probe into alleged overtime fraud. Matt Rocheleau, BostonGlobe.com, "As State Police overtime probe intensifies, troopers race to lock in pensions and retire," 2 July 2018 Buy Photo A Bucks County man faces criminal charges, including possessing a weapon of mass destruction, after authorities raided his rural home early Thursday during an ongoing probe into explosions in the area. Vinny Vella, Philly.com, "Bucks DA: 'Great policework' nabs chemical-company owner accused of building bombs," 28 June 2018 On 5 June, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the creation of a task force that will lead an interagency probe. Richard Stone, Science | AAAS, "Sonic attack or mass paranoia? New evidence stokes debate over diplomats’ mysterious illness," 20 June 2018 Trump's lead Russia lawyer argued that Strzok's testimony defending himself and that text should disqualify the Mueller probe and end it. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "Peter Strzok, the symbol of whatever you want him to be in the Russia investigation," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Text messages, video, pictures and other documents surrounding the trip were turned over Tuesday to the state’s ethics commission that is probing the trips due to a complaint filed by a local businessman and persistent critic of Gillum. Gary Fineout, The Seattle Times, "New documents contradict Florida Democratic nominee Gillum," 23 Oct. 2018 Caruana Galizia, who had probed money-laundering and corruption in the Mediterranean island nation, was killed when a bomb destroyed her car on Oct. 16. Fox News, "Family of slain Maltese journalist demands public inquiry," 9 Aug. 2018 Its regulator is the DFSA, which oversees about 629 companies and whose enforcement arm is led by a former U.K. investigator who probed Libor misconduct. Nicolas Parasie, WSJ, "Once Billed as a Financial Haven in the Middle East, Dubai Turns Investors Wary," 2 Aug. 2018 Jordan, who has made a name for himself in Congress by grilling the federal investigators who are probing alleged collusion by the Trump campaign with the Russians, is going to have to face some uncomfortable questions, too, Pelosi said. NBC News, "Nancy Pelosi backs Ohio State wrestlers who criticized Jim Jordan," 12 July 2018 Eric Bettger, who probed the Redwood Fire in Mendocino County that killed nine people and destroyed more than 500 structures over 37,000 acres, conducted an exclusion analysis to rule out every possible fire cause except power line disturbances. Kimberly Veklerov, San Francisco Chronicle, "Cal Fire releases details of probe into cause of Wine Country fires," 9 June 2018 One, Trump would have to broaden protectionist measures to other sectors -- a distinct possibility, given the administration is probing whether car imports represent a security risk. Andrew Mayeda, Bloomberg.com, "Why Trump's Trade War Isn't Worrying Most Economists, Yet," 5 June 2018 In recent days, President Donald Trump has intensely criticized special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, which is probing potential links between Trump campaign associates and the Russian government. Clare Foran, CNN, "Warner: It's 'potentially illegal' to identify FBI source in effort to undercut Russia probe," 18 May 2018 Balian was identified as a person of interest by the FBI's Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force, which in 2016 was probing ties between the Mexican Mafia and Armenian organized crime. Richard Winton, latimes.com, "Glendale cop tied to Mexican Mafia and Armenian organized crime, federal officials say," 16 May 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

16 Nov 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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