probe 1 of 2


2 of 2


as in to explore
to go into or range over for purposes of discovery probing the depths of the undersea trench

Synonyms & Similar Words

Synonym Chooser

How does the verb probe differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of probe are enter, penetrate, and pierce. While all these words mean "to make way into something," probe implies penetration to investigate or explore something hidden from sight or knowledge.

probed the depths of the sea

When is it sensible to use enter instead of probe?

In some situations, the words enter and probe are roughly equivalent. However, enter is the most general of these and may imply either going in or forcing a way in.

entered the city in triumph

When is penetrate a more appropriate choice than probe?

The meanings of penetrate and probe largely overlap; however, penetrate carries a strong implication of an impelling force or compelling power that achieves entrance.

the enemy penetrated the fortress

When might pierce be a better fit than probe?

While in some cases nearly identical to probe, pierce means an entering or cutting through with a sharp pointed instrument.

pierced the boil with a lancet

Thesaurus Entries Near probe

Cite this Entry

“Probe.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

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