If you probe something, you investigate it thoroughly. If you go into business with someone, you might probe her finances to make sure that she has a good track record.

Although it is usually used as a verb — "the police probed the man’s disappearance" — it can also be used as a noun to describe an information-gathering device. In 1979 the United States launched the world's first space probe into outer space. It was a spacecraft rigged with cameras, which were used to photograph Jupiter and Saturn.

Definitions of probe

n an exploratory action or expedition

Type of:
a careful systematic search

n an investigation conducted using a flexible surgical instrument to explore an injury or a body cavity

Type of:
systematic investigation to establish facts

n a flexible slender surgical instrument with a blunt end that is used to explore wounds or body cavities

Type of:
surgical instrument
a medical instrument used in surgery

n an inquiry into unfamiliar or questionable activities

“there was a congressional probe into the scandal”
fishing expedition
an investigation undertaken in the hope (but not the stated purpose) of discovering information
Type of:
enquiry, inquiry, research
a search for knowledge

v examine physically with or as if with a probe

probe an anthill”
dig into, poke into
wear or cut gutters into
Type of:
penetrate, perforate
pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance

v question or examine thoroughly and closely

show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
enquire, inquire, investigate
conduct an inquiry or investigation of
question after cross-examination by opposing counsel
hear, try
examine or hear (evidence or a case) by judicial process
secretly collect sensitive or classified information; engage in espionage
rehear, retry
hear or try a court case anew
Type of:
investigate, look into
investigate scientifically

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