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 At the end of October, an attorney leading a Rochester City Council investigation into Prude’s death accused Singletary of refusing to cooperate with the probe. Stephanie Pagones, Fox News, "Fired Rochester police chief claims mayor asked him to lie in Daniel Prude's death investigation," 18 Dec. 2020 The Justice Department has been posing detailed questions to Google’s rivals about that part of Google’s business, according to people familiar with that probe. Ryan Tracy, WSJ, "More States Hit Google Over Alleged Monopoly Conduct," 17 Dec. 2020 In a separate investigation, the Defense Ministry said eight suspects had been questioned by military intelligence on Tuesday in connection with a probe that has been going on since the end of last year. Washington Post, "World Digest: Dec. 1, 2020," 1 Dec. 2020 Two others arrested in July, Jeff Longstreth, Householder’s top political aide, and Juan Cespedes, a lobbyist for the company formerly known as FirstEnergy Solutions, have pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with the probe. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, "In filing, FirstEnergy says former executives’ firings tied to questionable $4 million payment to entity tied to unnamed state official," 19 Nov. 2020 There is a way to monitor the thermal shipper with a temperature probe. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, "The COVID Cold Chain: How a Vaccine Will Get to You," 19 Nov. 2020 The scourge started during the 1985-1990 administration of Alan García, who in 2019 killed himself as police arrived at his home to detain him in connection with the Odebrecht probe. Christine Armario And Franklin Briceno, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why Peruvians are protesting against their new government," 12 Nov. 2020 Hopkins was escorted out of his workplace on Monday afternoon and told not to return until the investigation was completed, according to one of the officials familiar with the probe. Shawn Boburg And Jacob Bogage Washington Post, Star Tribune, "Postal worker recanted allegations of ballot tampering, officials say," 10 Nov. 2020 The search warrants were served as part of a federal investigation examining Baldwin Park’s dealings with cannabis businesses, according to sources familiar with the probe. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: California’s first Gen Z legislator," 6 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Keep candles out of Fido or Fluffy’s reach, and off of surfaces that pets can easily probe with their paws, such as long tablecloths. Laura Lajiness, House Beautiful, "6 Ways to Keep Pets Safe At Home This Winter," 6 Jan. 2021 In pick-and-roll situations, Alexander-Walker doesn’t hesitate to probe into the paint. Christian Clark, NOLA.com, "Pelicans searching for answers to fix 'discombobulated' offense," 30 Dec. 2020 Among other issues, the fact-finding mission will probe into the origins of the virus. NBC News, "One year since coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, Americans there look home," 30 Dec. 2020 Another back, or even Jackson, would probe it vertically or in the opposite direction. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens film study: For a high-flying offense, two running backs can be double the fun," 30 Dec. 2020 But kids shouldn’t be forced into sharing their stories, federal health officials say, and parents shouldn’t probe into all the details of what the kids recall. oregonlive, "What to do if your child is traumatized after the wildfires," 20 Oct. 2020 Meanwhile, other companies are devising new ways to probe more deeply into other aspects of our lives. Sidney Fussell, Wired, "Companies Can Track Your Phone’s Movements to Target Ads," 18 Sep. 2020 The second way, called a nasopharyngeal swab, requires a professional to probe more deeply into the nasal cavity to get the sample. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, "Covid-19 Tests: Answers on Cost, Accuracy and Turnaround Time," 3 Sep. 2020 An Amazon publicist declined to speak on the record, but the company hired third-party security firms to probe Sidewalk for vulnerabilities. Rob Pegoraro, USA TODAY, "Amazon wants your devices to talk to each other. Should you take a walk on Sidewalk?," 20 Dec. 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

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Probe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/probe. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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