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.


  1. not having been explored


  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

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.

  1. To examine for diagnostic purposes.

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