[ik-splawr, -splohr]
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.
  3. Surgery. to investigate into, especially mechanically, as with a probe.
  4. Obsolete. to search for; search out.
verb (used without object), ex·plored, ex·plor·ing.
  1. to engage in exploration.

Origin of explore

1575–85; < Latin explōrāre to search out, examine, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + plōrāre to cry out, probably orig. with reference to hunting cries
Related formsex·plor·a·ble, adjectiveex·plor·a·bil·i·ty, nounex·plor·ing·ly, adverbre·ex·plore, verb, re·ex·plored, re·ex·plor·ing.un·ex·plor·a·ble, adjectiveun·ex·plored, adjective

Synonyms for explore

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for explorable


  1. (tr) to examine or investigate, esp systematically
  2. to travel to or into (unfamiliar or unknown regions), esp for organized scientific purposes
  3. (tr) med to examine (an organ or part) for diagnostic purposes
  4. (tr) obsolete to search for or out
Derived Formsexplorer, noun

Word Origin for explore

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

Word Origin and History for explorable



1580s, "to investigate, examine," a back-formation from exploration, or else from Middle French explorer (16c.), from Latin explorare "investigate, search out, examine, explore," said to be originally a hunters' term meaning "set up a loud cry," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + plorare "to cry."

But second element also explained as "to make to flow," from pluere "to flow." Meaning "to go to a country or place in quest of discoveries" is first attested 1610s. Related: Explored; exploring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

explorable in Medicine


  1. To examine for diagnostic purposes.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.