[ik-splawr-er, -splohr-]
See more synonyms for explorer on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person or thing that explores.
  2. a person who investigates unknown regions: the great explorers of the Renaissance.
  3. any instrument used in exploring or sounding a wound, a cavity in a tooth, or the like.
  4. (initial capital letter) Also called Explorer Scout. a person between the ages 14 and 20 who is an active participant in the exploring program sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America.
  5. (initial capital letter) Aerospace. one of a long series of U.S. scientific satellites: Explorer 1 (1958) was the first U.S. artificial satellite.

Origin of explorer

First recorded in 1675–85; explore + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for explorer


  1. US a member of the senior branch of the ScoutsBrit equivalent: Venture Scout


  1. any of the first series of US satellites. Explorer 1, launched in 1958, confirmed the existence of intense radiation belts around the earth
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 explorer

1680s, agent noun from explore. Replaced earlier exploratour (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

explorer in Medicine


  1. A sharp, pointed probe used on tooth surfaces to detect caries or other defects.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.