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
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
The probe looked into incidents allegedly involving the singer between 2009 and 2011 in West Hollywood.—Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2023 Photo: Eric Lee for The Wall Street Journal Outdoor advertising company Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings agreed to pay more than $26 million to resolve a U.S. probe into bribes the company allegedly paid in China.—Richard Vanderford, WSJ, 28 Sep. 2023 The material, which dates to the birth of the solar system, was dropped off by parachute in the Utah desert by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft three years after the probe retrieved it from the asteroid Bennu.—Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, 28 Sep. 2023 That led some investors to call for an SEC probe into Cohen’s actions, with some concerned Cohen might have manipulated the markets with his trades.—Chris Morris, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2023 Investigators led by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives have declined to comment on specifics of the probe, as have Maui County officials.—Michael Biesecker, Jennifer McDermott, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 Sep. 2023 But Simons reportedly diverted agency resources from that probe against Meta’s Facebook following the platform’s Cambridge Analytica scandal.—Makena Kelly, The Verge, 26 Sep. 2023 The House Ethics Committee reportedly reopened its own probe into his conduct in June 2023, the status of which is unknown.—Kyler Alvord, Peoplemag, 26 Sep. 2023 Previously, two law enforcement officials briefed on the probe told ABC News on Tuesday the gun appeared to have been purchased legally.—Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 20 Sep. 2023
The list includes satellites, spacecraft, rovers, probes and other scientific equipment.—Theo Nicitopoulos, Discover Magazine, 28 Sep. 2023 For weeks, Ukrainian forces have been probing Russian defenses in the southeast, looking for an opening to push their armored vehicles behind the main Russian line.—Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2023 Unfortunately, Amazon didn’t make the new Alexa available for journalists to probe and chat with.—Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2023 The festival has also revealed the films playing in two of the three Focus programs: Fabrications, which probes the difference between reality and realism, and 16 Worlds on 16, an homage to 16mm film.—Leo Barraclough, Variety, 19 Sep. 2023 The Senate Armed Services Committee is probing national-security issues raised by Elon Musk’s decision not to extend the private Starlink satellite network to aid a Ukrainian attack on Russian warships near the Crimean coast.—Steven T. Dennis, Fortune, 14 Sep. 2023 Reporters for these recent pieces probing the reality of our invisible injuries routinely consult van der Kolk as an arbitrator.—Ana Marie Cox, The New Republic, 14 Sep. 2023 House Republicans have been probing Hunter Biden’s business dealings since taking control of the House last year.—Erin B. Logan, Los Angeles Times, 11 Sep. 2023 Dunne is an expert at probing the baggage that comes along with maturity — namely, responsibility.—Joseph Hudak, Rolling Stone, 7 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'probe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Medieval Latin proba examination, from Latin probare
: 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
: 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