[ ik-splawr, -splohr ]
See synonyms for: exploreexploredexploresexploring on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),ex·plored, ex·plor·ing.
  1. to traverse or range over (a region, area, etc.) for the purpose of discovery: to explore the island.

  2. to look into closely; scrutinize; examine: Let us explore the possibilities for improvement.

  1. Surgery. to investigate into, especially mechanically, as with a probe.

  2. Obsolete. to search for; search out.

verb (used without object),ex·plored, ex·plor·ing.
  1. to engage in exploration.

Origin of explore

First recorded in 1575–85; from Latin explōrāre “to search out, examine,” equivalent to ex- ex-1 + plōrāre “to cry out,” probably originally with reference to hunting cries

Other words for explore

Other words from explore

  • ex·plor·a·ble, adjective
  • ex·plor·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • ex·plor·ing·ly, adverb
  • re·ex·plore, verb, re·ex·plored, re·ex·plor·ing.
  • un·ex·plor·a·ble, adjective
  • un·ex·plored, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use explore in a sentence

  • Several women and girls, with a dog, appeared on the marsh, which at low tide was in some parts explorable.

    Upon The Tree-Tops | Olive Thorne Miller

British Dictionary definitions for explore


/ (ɪkˈsplɔː) /

  1. (tr) to examine or investigate, esp systematically

  2. to travel to or into (unfamiliar or unknown regions), esp for organized scientific purposes

  1. (tr) med to examine (an organ or part) for diagnostic purposes

  2. (tr) obsolete to search for or out

Origin of explore

C16: from Latin explōrāre, from ex- 1 + plōrāre to cry aloud; probably from the shouts of hunters sighting prey

Derived forms of explore

  • explorer, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012