Definition of explore in English:


Line breaks: ex|plore
Pronunciation: /ɪkˈsplɔː
, ɛk-/


[with object]
1Travel through (an unfamiliar area) in order to learn about it: he explored the Fontainebleau forest 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, tour, traverse, range over; survey, take a look at, inspect, investigate, scout, reconnoitre, search, prospect
informal recce, give something a/the once-over, give something a look-see, give something a going-over
1.1 [no object] (explore for) Search for resources such as mineral deposits: the company has been granted licences to explore for petroleum
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.
2Inquire into or discuss (a subject) 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.
2.1Examine or evaluate (an option or possibility): the firm will explore joint development projects
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/over, enquire into, consider, check out; examine, research, survey, scrutinize, scan, study, review, probe, dissect, take stock of, go into, go over with a fine-tooth comb
3Examine 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.
4 Medicine Surgically examine (a wound or part of the body) in detail: he decided to explore the lesion to establish the diagnosis
More 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.


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



Pronunciation: /ɪkˈsplɒrətɪv, ɛk-/
More 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.

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