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.
- not having been explored
- (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
v.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. v.
- To examine for diagnostic purposes.