Definition of explore in English:

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Pronunciation: /ikˈsplôr/


[with object]
1Travel in or through (an unfamiliar country or area) in order to learn about or familiarize oneself with it: the best way to explore Iceland’s northwest figurative the project encourages children to explore the world of photography
More example sentences
  • Many of us have never explored the unfamiliar areas of the city and are often unaware of the full potential experience and new attributes of the ever-maturing city centre.
  • Around the island you'll find time portals; these allow you to travel through time and explore areas at different stages in history.
  • All members of the party were successful with the trek and spent the rest of the day exploring the site and learning a lot more about the history of the Incas.
travel over/in/through, tour, range over;
survey, take a look at, inspect, investigate, reconnoiter, wander through
1.1 [no object] (explore for) Search for resources such as mineral deposits: the company explored for oil
More example sentences
  • Special allowances are given for expenditure incurred in exploring for minerals and petroleum resources and mine development expenditure.
  • One of the companies exploring for minerals is searching for zinc and hoping to find other by-products.
  • The consortium then sent experts to the region south of Kabul to explore for copper and other mineral deposits.
1.2Inquire into or discuss (a subject or issue) in detail: he sets out to explore fundamental questions
More example sentences
  • If a woman had a genuine fear of childbirth, the issue was explored and discussed in a balanced manner.
  • Not only do they not find it harmful, but in some instances it has helped them to discuss and explore issues of theology and faith.
  • The audience is invited to take part in a one-hour post-show workshop and discussion, to explore issues raised in the play.
1.3Examine or evaluate (an option or possibility): you continue to explore new ways to generate income
More example sentences
  • Instead of saying that we are left with no other option, let us explore other possibilities.
  • As always, I use the search engine to sniff for clues when I need to explore possibilities and options.
  • The second issue for further study entails exploring the options for development that overcome or compensate for locational disadvantages.
investigate, look into, consider;
examine, research, survey, scrutinize, study, review, go over with a fine-tooth comb
informal check out
1.4Examine by touch: her fingers explored his hair
More example sentences
  • In hospital, he was given a blue toy truck to hold before his operation, his small hands touching, probing, exploring the size of it, the shape of it.
  • Without further consent, Michael bowed my head forward and his fingers explored my hair around the back of my head while he searched for a visible injury of some kind.
  • As far as I'm concerned, most lovers don't spend enough time touching, discovering and exploring each other.
1.5 Medicine Surgically examine (a wound or body cavity) in detail.
Example sentences
  • After three minutes, he removed the sponge to explore the wound further.
  • One perforation resolved on conservative management with nasogastric feeding and the other was successfully explored and surgically repaired.
  • The patient was surgically explored on the second day of life.



Pronunciation: /ikˈsplôrədiv/
Example sentences
  • After the initial explorative phase which lasted for a few minutes, a decrease of the locomotor activity in both the control and the experimental groups was noticeable.
  • To find out, he asked her to prepare an explorative paper on the possibility of using television to teach young children.
  • Walter tells the women about all of his explorative experiences in Chicago over the past few days.


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'investigate (why)'): from French explorer, from Latin explorare 'search out', from ex- 'out' + plorare 'utter a cry'.

  • This comes via French from Latin explorare ‘search out’, from ex- ‘out’ and plorare ‘utter a cry’.

Words that rhyme with explore

abhor, adore, afore, anymore, ashore, awe, bandore, Bangalore, before, boar, Boer, bore, caw, chore, claw, cocksure, comprador, cor, core, corps, craw, Delors, deplore, door, draw, drawer, evermore, flaw, floor, for, forbore, fore, foresaw, forevermore, forswore, four, fourscore, furthermore, Gábor, galore, gnaw, gore, grantor, guarantor, guffaw, hard-core, Haugh, haw, hoar, ignore, implore, Indore, interwar, jaw, Johor, Lahore, law, lessor, lor, lore, macaw, man-o'-war, maw, mirador, mor, more, mortgagor, Mysore, nevermore, nor, oar, obligor, offshore, onshore, open-jaw, or, ore, outdoor, outwore, paw, poor, pore, pour, rapport, raw, roar, saw, scaur, score, senhor, señor, shaw, ship-to-shore, shop-floor, shore, signor, Singapore, snore, soar, softcore, sore, spore, store, straw, swore, Tagore, tau, taw, thaw, Thor, threescore, tor, tore, torr, trapdoor, tug-of-war, two-by-four, underfloor, underscore, war, warrantor, Waugh, whore, withdraw, wore, yaw, yore, your

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ex·plore

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