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 Justice Department is conducting an investigation into the origins of the Russia probe that ensnared Flynn and other Trump associates. NBC News, "Obama emerges as central figure in 2020 presidential race," 14 May 2020 Durham was appointed last year to head a criminal investigation into the origins of the Russia probe. Dominick Mastrangelo, Washington Examiner, "Jim Jordan: Comey the 'common denominator' in origins of Russia investigation and setup of Flynn," 12 May 2020 Over the last two decades, a veritable fleet of probes has measured quakes on Mars, scrutinized the grooves in Saturn’s rings, observed jet streams on Jupiter, and heard the heartbeat of Pluto. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "Uranus blasted a gas bubble 22,000 times bigger than Earth," 30 Mar. 2020 The probe is ongoing, and the police department is asking anyone that has information of the disappearance and/or death of Scott to please contact the Bessemer Police Department. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Woman found slain in Bessemer manhole was missing from north Alabama since 2018," 10 Mar. 2020 The probe is hardly the only regulatory threat the company faces: The Justice Department is also reviewing online platforms generally, seeking to determine whether Facebook, Google and other Silicon Valley companies are sufficiently regulated. Tony Romm, Washington Post, "Justice Department faults Google for turning over evidence too slowly in antitrust probe, hinting at possible legal action," 27 Feb. 2020 The mission team has tried several strategies to get the mole moving, including pressing on the side of the probe with InSight’s robotic arm to generate the required friction. Mike Wall, Scientific American, "NASA’s InSight Lander Reveals New Details of Martian Quakes and Magnetism," 24 Feb. 2020 General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, and Kia also used ARC airbags that are part of this probe. Clifford Atiyeh And Rusty Blackwell, Car and Driver, "Massive Takata Airbag Recall: Everything You Need to Know, Including Full List of Affected Vehicles," 21 Feb. 2020 The current plan calls for a 2024 launch of the probe on an H-3 rocket, a new booster built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and expected to debut late this year or in 2021. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Japan’s space agency moving ahead with Phobos lander mission," 20 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Pediatricians across the country and world are also probing whether any particular youth are affected more than others. Alejandro Serrano, SFChronicle.com, "CDC alerts doctors of syndrome in children that might be linked to the coronavirus," 14 May 2020 Investigators are probing whether or not the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has any connection to the killings, but so far police have not confirmed a motive. Brianna Provenzano, refinery29.com, "At Least 19 People Were Killed In Shooting Rampage Across Nova Scotia," 21 Apr. 2020 Federal investigators are probing the company’s accounting practices after several large write-downs. Thomas Gryta, WSJ, "GE Proposes Keeping KPMG as External Auditor," 12 Mar. 2020 His father, Danny, a police detective, probes the murder of a witness. Mike Hughes, Cincinnati.com, "Here's what you need to watch on TV this week: April 26-May 2," 26 Apr. 2020 All of those transactions were deeply probed and widely reported. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Feds launch a probe into Big Tech’s smallest acquisitions," 13 Feb. 2020 Google, along with several fellow tech giants, is being probed for potential antitrust violations related to its advertising business, its handling of user data, along with mergers and acquisitions. Clare Duffy, CNN, "Sonos sues Google for allegedly infringing on its smart speaker technology," 7 Jan. 2020 Both of these rovers will probe Martian soils to find evidence of similar microbial life. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "If We Ever Find Life on Mars, It Might Look Like These Weird Microbes," 6 Apr. 2020 The band features the twenty-two-year-old Herbie Hancock on piano, whose comping pushes Mobley into probing, more troubled harmonies. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Haunted Jazz of Hank Mobley," 25 Mar. 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

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Probe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/probe. Accessed 30 May. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on probe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for probe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with probe

Spanish Central: Translation of probe

Nglish: Translation of probe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of probe for Arabic Speakers

Comments on probe

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