Definition of explore in English:



  • 1 Travel 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’
    • ‘The company has estimated that by allowing people to arrive in the heart of the Cotswolds by train and then exploring the area by bike one million car miles a year are eliminated.’
    • ‘There are creeks which are worth exploring for their flora and fauna and grumpy fishermen living in huts with big dogs that threaten to leap into the water and take a chunk out of your paddles.’
    • ‘We landed on top of what was left of the wreck and, after the usual checks, headed off to explore this unfamiliar site.’
    • ‘He slowly loped around the forest, exploring the area a bit out of pure boredom.’
    • ‘I spent a lot of time trekking through the jungle, exploring uncharted areas and meeting primitive tribes, some were friendly but more often than not they were unfriendly.’
    • ‘The compact city is easily explored on foot (not in high heels, though).’
    • ‘It makes a good base for exploring the gorge area as well as to have a soak in the relaxing hot springs.’
    • ‘The Egyptian site then remained largely forgotten by dinosaur hunters until the Pennsylvania team began exploring the area in 1999.’
    • ‘For the early manned missions to be seen as successful, the surface crew will need to explore large areas of Mars, ranging far from their base.’
    • ‘Though the labyrinth has been explored for decades, the persistence of archaic survey techniques has led to only rudimentary maps.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We explore the surrounding areas and view the scenery through the eyes of lovers and friends.’
    • ‘The young girl impatiently explored the large areas of the semi-darkened shop, searching for the auto-frame mechanic.’
    • ‘The area outside Ubud is worth exploring for its temples and scenery.’
    • ‘Visitors can join 30-minute tours revealing the theatre's history, or explore dressing rooms, stage and scenery-making areas.’
    • ‘Around the island you'll find time portals; these allow you to travel through time and explore areas at different stages in history.’
    • ‘The town is small enough to be easily explored on foot.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Pohara is a very convenient centre for scenic trips and for exploring the area.’
    • ‘Part of the fun of a bike tour is the thrill of exploring a new area.’
    travel over, tour, traverse, range over
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object]Search for resources such as mineral deposits.
      ‘the company explored for oil’
      • ‘The consortium then sent experts to the region south of Kabul to explore for copper and other mineral deposits.’
      • ‘We need to be exploring for more energy in our country, starting in the wildlife preserve up in Alaska.’
      • ‘Although a lot of people spent a lot of time exploring for tin they did not do very well.’
      • ‘Why is the mining company still exploring for iron ore?’
      • ‘Yet, it was always on my mind while exploring for minerals around Challis.’
      • ‘If prices stay up, oil companies will start pumping in fields that are unprofitable at lower prices, and will pour money into exploring for new fields.’
      • ‘Obviously, nothing prevents potentially rivalrous entrepreneurs from exploring for and exploiting new supplies of a specific resource.’
      • ‘To be fair, some of the area has yet to be explored for minerals.’
      • ‘The leaders discussed jointly exploring for undersea resources in the Gulf of Tonkin, known in China as the Beibu Gulf.’
      • ‘In the relatively stable continental interiors the technique has been used, not only to explore for oil or other resources, but also to furnish data about the deep structure.’
      • ‘And with a dozen or so companies already exploring for uranium, worth potentially billions of dollars, he says the Territory's stance was nonsensical.’
      • ‘He oversees the most profitable corporation in America, which operates oil refineries in 25 countries and explores for oil and gas on six continents.’
      • ‘Japan claims 12 other areas that China is already exploring for oil and gas.’
      • ‘The primary application of such reflection seismology is exploring for offshore oil and gas deposits, but academic scientists also use the method for various geological studies.’
      • ‘Special allowances are given for expenditure incurred in exploring for minerals and petroleum resources and mine development expenditure.’
      • ‘It was surveyed in 1900 by a geologist whose brief was to fill in the gaps on the map, and to explore for traces of mineral wealth.’
      • ‘But then, in 1981, the area was explored for diamonds.’
      • ‘One of the companies exploring for minerals is searching for zinc and hoping to find other by-products.’
      • ‘Underneath all of this beauty can be found vast oil reserves which are yet unexplored - only 30 percent of Colombia has been explored for oil to date.’
      • ‘There is a group of minerals, as the Minister will well know, that are the property of the Crown and the Crown can grant licences to others to explore for those minerals.’
    2. 1.2Inquire into or discuss (a subject or issue) in detail.
      ‘he sets out to explore fundamental questions’
      • ‘Psychologists and other social scientists are actively exploring issues like these.’
      • ‘Our numerical study reveals three remarkable features, which we explored using theoretical considerations.’
      • ‘The author explores in depth the obstacles they confronted and the strategies they employed to survive and even prosper.’
      • ‘The play explores at length the motives that might cause someone to perpetrate such deeds.’
      • ‘Love must be one of the most thoroughly explored topics there is.’
      • ‘If a woman had a genuine fear of childbirth, the issue was explored and discussed in a balanced manner.’
      • ‘The audience is invited to take part in a one-hour post-show workshop and discussion, to explore issues raised in the play.’
      • ‘To sustain this thesis, this essay explores three interrelated issues.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I explore this issue by discussing how actions and events are to be individuated, focusing on problem cases which raise difficulties concerning the location or time of occurrence of an action or an event.’
      • ‘The exhibit also explores how designers double as producers, working to initiate ideas and make them concrete.’
      • ‘Her ‘public ego’ theory is a relatively new one she is currently exploring for a new book.’
      • ‘Peer-to-peer phone conferences are used to further explore the topics being discussed.’
      • ‘The exhibit also explores how the structures affect the world around them.’
      • ‘The first article explores the struggles associated with the implementation of acquisition policy.’
      • ‘A panel discussion will explore the myriad issues surrounding rapidly emerging biotechnology and how it relates to world trade.’
      • ‘The last chapter explored what comes through texts, and how we go about understanding and knowing the past.’
      • ‘We asked the groups to discuss the case and explore the implementation issues arising from it as well as the doctor's feelings about these issues.’
      • ‘The site also offers general essays which explore themes common to many of the songs.’
      • ‘I do not think that they fully explored all the issues that could be explored.’
    3. 1.3Examine or evaluate (an option or possibility)
      ‘you continue to explore new ways to generate income’
      • ‘The second issue for further study entails exploring the options for development that overcome or compensate for locational disadvantages.’
      • ‘He added the firm is exploring the possibility of contributing money to a cycle route on the former branch railway line linking Malmesbury with Little Somerford.’
      • ‘We are also exploring options of what developments could go ahead without removing the covenants.’
      • ‘Instead of saying that we are left with no other option, let us explore other possibilities.’
      • ‘More research is urged to explore the possibility of future collaboration between proprietary schools and community colleges.’
      • ‘Many businesses have yet to fully explore the possibilities of their web sites and the Internet.’
      • ‘This possibility was explored by examining negative emotionality immediately prior to psychophysiological data collection.’
      • ‘They also can explore all the career avenues open to them through the recruiting exhibitors.’
      • ‘They're exploring every avenue available and have promised to fight for their school.’
      • ‘He is exploring the possibility of adding Korean firms to his joint venture centre to take advantage of the abundance of native Korean speakers in the area.’
      • ‘The research team is now exploring the possibility of using eye contact sensor glasses to treat children with autistic spectrum disorder.’
      • ‘Further research is needed to explore this possibility.’
      • ‘I just think that we need to explore all the avenues, you know?’
      • ‘As always, I use the search engine to sniff for clues when I need to explore possibilities and options.’
      • ‘Commercial entities, particularly those at port locations are actively exploring these options.’
      • ‘He wants to help small and midsized firms explore their options to the fullest extent.’
      • ‘In consultation with university administrators, the board encouraged foundation leaders to explore options.’
      • ‘We are having an organising conference on the 24th of November to explore which way we can use this.’
      • ‘This is why I want fleet managers, car hire firms, taxi companies and individual motorists to explore the liquefied petroleum gas option.’
      • ‘Members approved the application and asked officers to explore the three options, giving priority to the development of the garage site.’
    4. 1.4Examine by touch.
      ‘her fingers explored his hair’
      • ‘He wiped a bead of sweat from his forehead, then allowed the tips of his fingers to explore the smooth skin between his hairline and his nose.’
      • ‘It understands and explores the world through touch, and it has a vast repertoire of non-verbal forms of communication.’
      • ‘He took up one of her hands and manipulated the fingers, exploring their flexibility.’
      • ‘As the story unfolds, she then responds to the children's comments and allows the toddlers to explore the book by touching.’
      • ‘Gently, Vincent's nimble fingers explored the hole, trying to determine how deep the bullet had gone.’
      • ‘The baby proceeded to explore Nicholas, poking his face and tugging on his hair, giggling the entire time.’
      • ‘Her hands slipped under his shirt touching, exploring every muscle.’
      • ‘Trinkets that glittered, metallic objects that shined, and even funny shaped circles of varying size and color that had a dull glint to them called to her to touch and explore them.’
      • ‘A little finger explored the button on Stray's hat with fascination.’
      • ‘The nerve endings on his fingers had become ultra sensitive and he explored his hair as if it were the deep jungle of Viet Nam.’
      • ‘Frantically, her fingers explored the cloth until they alighted upon a cool piece of knobby metal - the crucifix on the end of her rosary.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She encourages her audience to touch and explore her artwork.’
      • ‘Children also need to touch and explore things to gain mastery and may find it difficult to sit still or stay in one place long enough to participate in talk therapy.’
      • ‘Gingerly he explores them with his fingers and is relieved to discover them merely tightly bandaged.’
      • ‘My beautiful baby was in my arms and close to my chest, her soft fingers exploring the line of my chin.’
      • ‘As far as I'm concerned, most lovers don't spend enough time touching, discovering and exploring each other.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He opened his mouth to protest again but she was searching for words while her finger explored the rust on his car.’
      • ‘‘Yes,’ he said, looking out to sea while his fingers explored the thing.’
    5. 1.5Medicine
      Surgically examine (a wound or body cavity) in detail.
      • ‘One perforation resolved on conservative management with nasogastric feeding and the other was successfully explored and surgically repaired.’
      • ‘The wound should be explored, copiously irrigated, and surgically debrided.’
      • ‘After three minutes, he removed the sponge to explore the wound further.’
      • ‘The decision was then made to explore the ear surgically.’
      • ‘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.