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ex·plore / ikˈsplôr/ • v. [tr.] 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. ∎  [intr.] (explore for) search for resources such as mineral deposits: the company explored for oil. ∎  inquire into or discuss (a subject or issue) in detail: he sets out to explore fundamental questions. ∎  examine by touch: her fingers explored his hair. ∎  Med. surgically examine (a wound or body cavity) in detail. DERIVATIVES: ex·plor·a·tive / -rətiv/ adj. ORIGIN: mid 16th cent. (in the sense ‘investigate (why)’): from French explorer, from Latin explorare ‘search out,’ from ex- ‘out’ + plorare ‘utter a cry.’

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