[ prohb ]
See synonyms for: probeprobing on

verb (used with object),probed, prob·ing.
  1. to search into or examine thoroughly; question closely:to probe one's conscience.

  2. to examine or explore with or as if with an instrument: The dentist probed the offending tooth.She keeps probing her ear with a cotton swab.

verb (used without object),probed, prob·ing.
  1. to examine or explore a matter thoroughly (sometimes followed by into): The checklist consists of a series of questions carefully designed to probe into all aspects of your business.The cross-examiner probed a little more before dismissing the witness.

  2. to explore or search with or as if with an instrument: You may have to probe with the rod until you find the mouth of the pipe.

  1. an act or instance of probing.

  2. an investigation, especially by a legislative committee, of suspected illegal activity.

  1. a tool or instrument designed for examining something, especially a slender surgical instrument for exploring the depth or direction of a wound, sinus, or the like.

  2. Aerospace. space probe.

  3. a projecting, pipelike device on a receiving aircraft used to make connection with and receive fuel from a tanker aircraft during refueling in flight.

  4. a device, attached by cord to an oven, that can be inserted into roasts or other food so that the oven shuts off when the desired internal temperature of the food is reached.

  5. Biology. any identifiable substance that is used to detect, isolate, or identify another substance, as a labeled strand of DNA that hybridizes with its complementary RNA or a monoclonal antibody that combines with a specific protein.

Origin of probe

First recorded in 1555–65; (noun) from Medieval Latin proba “examination,” Late Latin: “test,” derivative of probāre “to try, test, prove” (see proof, prove); (verb) partly derivative of the noun, partly from Latin probāre

Other words for probe

Other words from probe

  • probe·a·ble, adjective
  • prob·er, noun
  • re·probe, verb, re·probed, re·prob·ing.
  • un·probed, adjective

Words Nearby probe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use probe in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for probe


/ (prəʊb) /

  1. (tr) to search into or question closely

  2. to examine (something) with or as if with a probe

  1. something that probes, examines, or tests

  2. surgery a slender and usually flexible instrument for exploring a wound, sinus, etc

  1. a thorough inquiry, such as one by a newspaper into corrupt practices

  2. electronics a lead connecting to or containing a measuring or monitoring circuit used for testing

  3. electronics a conductor inserted into a waveguide or cavity resonator to provide coupling to an external circuit

  4. any of various devices that provide a coupling link, esp a flexible tube extended from an aircraft to link it with another so that it can refuel

Origin of probe

C16: from Medieval Latin proba investigation, from Latin probāre to test

Derived forms of probe

  • probeable, adjective
  • prober, 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