probe

noun
\ ˈprōb How to pronounce probe (audio) \
plural probes

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; probes

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 uncrewed vehicles probed space

intransitive verb

: to make a searching exploratory investigation

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And there was more bad news last month when the CAC was due to wrap up its cybersecurity probe of Didi and propose suitable punishments for the company. Yvonne Lau, Fortune, 23 May 2022 Trump is also suing James in federal court, seeking to shut down her probe. Arkansas Online, 21 May 2022 Trump is also suing James in federal court, seeking to shut down her probe. Michael R. Sisak, BostonGlobe.com, 20 May 2022 Trump is also suing James in federal court, seeking to shut down her probe. Michael R. Sisak, Chicago Tribune, 20 May 2022 The case is the first that special counsel John Durham has taken to trial in his three-year probe into how the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled allegations of ties between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, 20 May 2022 Dallas police believe the three shootings may be connected because of the vehicle descriptions -- and may be hate-motivated, Garcia said Friday, adding his department had reached out to the FBI and other Texas agencies in its probe. Chris Boyette, Jamiel Lynch And Michelle Krupa, CNN, 17 May 2022 Much of the committee's work thus far has been conducted behind closed doors, with lawmakers and staff conducting more than 900 interviews and depositions and receiving more than 100,000 documents in the course of their probe. Scott Macfarlane, Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 13 May 2022 After belatedly filing charges against Girardi last spring, the State Bar opened its own probe. Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Does the Quiverfull connection not probe the radical Christianity at loose in the land, replete with a racist agenda? John Anderson, WSJ, 10 May 2022 Bonus-hunting managers don’t always probe how sales, investments or production results materialize. Nuala Walsh, Forbes, 4 May 2022 To make the cut, Kelleher-Andrews and her team probe a potential client’s finances, education, marital status, dating history, family background and career trajectory, and conduct interviews to gauge commitment and charm. Los Angeles Times, 11 Feb. 2022 To determine how deep the moisture goes, probe the soil with a long, flat-headed screwdriver. oregonlive, 21 Jan. 2022 For instance, when a colleague shares something about their weekend, resist interjecting with a similar experience and probe theirs. Anne Quito, Quartz, 28 Dec. 2021 Apparently, at the top of the list of priorities is a goal to probe Uranus. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 20 Apr. 2022 Texas will slow the game down, but that suits the Hokies just fine, giving Storm Murphy time to probe the defense. New York Times, 14 Mar. 2022 These protrusions might be a way for the fire ants on a raft to probe their environment, perhaps searching for a log or dry land. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 5 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of probe

Noun

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1542, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for probe

Noun

Medieval Latin proba examination, from Latin probare

Learn More About probe

Time Traveler for probe

Time Traveler

The first known use of probe was circa 1542

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Dictionary Entries Near probe

probatum

probe

probeagle

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Statistics for probe

Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Probe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/probe. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for probe

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

More from Merriam-Webster on probe

Nglish: Translation of probe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of probe for Arabic Speakers

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