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

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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 Heavy gunfire broke out Thursday in Beirut during a protest organized by the Hezbollah group against the judge leading the probe into last year’s blast in the city’s port. Time, 15 Oct. 2021 But delegates to the Southern Baptists' national meeting in June had approved the independent probe and voted for the committee to waive privilege if asked to do so by the firm doing the investigation. Arkansas Online, 15 Oct. 2021 But even as the committee pushes ahead, time will be ticking down to the midterm elections in November 2022, which could spell the probe's eventual demise. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 15 Oct. 2021 The court probe centers on hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrates that had been improperly stored at a port warehouse that detonated on August 4, 2020, killing at least 215 people, injuring thousands and destroying parts of nearby neighborhoods. NBC News, 14 Oct. 2021 Hezbollah and its allies have claimed that the probe has been politically biased against Shiite ministers, and the politically contentious issue has threatened to derail the current caretaker government. Guy Davies, ABC News, 14 Oct. 2021 The court probe centers on hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrates that had been improperly stored at a port warehouse that detonated on August 4, 2020, killing at least 215 people, injuring thousands and destroying parts of nearby neighborhoods. Zeina Karam And Sarah El Deeb, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Oct. 2021 Hezbollah accuses the judge in charge of the Beirut blast probe, Tarek Bitar, of politicizing the investigation and focusing on the group’s allies in the government. Nazih Osseiran, WSJ, 14 Oct. 2021 The court probe centers on hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrates that had been improperly stored at a port warehouse that detonated on August 4, 2020, killing at least 215 people, injuring thousands and destroying parts of nearby neighborhoods. Zeina Karam And Sarah El Deeb, USA TODAY, 14 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb How is the Pandora Papers probe different from the Panama Papers? The Washington Post, Arkansas Online, 4 Oct. 2021 At times, justices seemed to be using the argument session to probe the positions of their colleagues, almost ignoring the attorney who was left on the sidelines with little opportunity to break in. Ariane De Vogue, CNN, 21 Sep. 2021 Biden announces additional mandates, researchers probe new shots and treatments, and global vaccine distribution falters. Eve Sneider, Wired, 10 Sep. 2021 Drones could probe a carrier group’s defenses without risking a crew, however. David Axe, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 The attorney general then announced that federal investigators would probe long-standing allegations of misconduct within the Phoenix police, with a focus on the treatment of homeless people. Washington Post, 30 July 2021 As an investigative reporter for The Chronicle, Alexandria will probe the biggest and most urgent stories throughout the Bay Area. Sfchronicle Pr, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 July 2021 With a map of these repeating regions finally in hand, scientists can probe more carefully their function. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 11 June 2021 On Wednesday, the agency announced a pair of new missions, DAVINCI+ and VERITAS, will probe our nearest planetary neighbor starting between 2028 and 2030. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 3 June 2021

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 1542, in the meaning defined at transitive 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 1542

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Dictionary Entries Near probe

probatum

probe

probeagle

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Statistics for probe

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Probe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/probe. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for probe

probe

noun

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

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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