[ik-splawr, -splohr]

verb (used with object), ex·plored, ex·plor·ing.

to traverse or range over (a region, area, etc.) for the purpose of discovery: to explore the island.
to look into closely; scrutinize; examine: Let us explore the possibilities for improvement.
Surgery. to investigate into, especially mechanically, as with a probe.
Obsolete. to search for; search out.

verb (used without object), ex·plored, ex·plor·ing.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for explore

Contemporary Examples of explore

Historical Examples of explore

  • I long to live so that I can explore what is no less than a new world to me.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • Five of us put off in a boat to explore—that is the last that I can recall.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • He crawled into it with a leaping heart and began to explore.

  • Collecting my courage I set about to explore my surroundings.

  • Come, Clara; I want to explore the penetralia of this temple of Isis.'

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for explore



(tr) to examine or investigate, esp systematically
to travel to or into (unfamiliar or unknown regions), esp for organized scientific purposes
(tr) med to examine (an organ or part) for diagnostic purposes
(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 explore

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

explore in Medicine




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.