Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.


a. A slender, flexible surgical instrument used to explore a wound or body cavity.
b. An electrode or other device that can be placed inside something to take and convey measurements.
c. A substance, such as DNA, that is radioactively labeled or otherwise marked and used to detect or identify another substance in a sample.
d. A space probe.
a. An exploratory action or expedition, especially one designed to investigate and obtain information on a remote or unknown region: the scouts' probe of enemy territory.
b. The act of exploring or searching with a device or instrument: the surgeon's probe of the clogged artery.
c. An investigation into unfamiliar matters or questionable activities; a penetrating inquiry: a congressional probe into price fixing; a reporter's probe into a public figure's past. See Synonyms at inquiry.
v. probed, prob·ing, probes
a. To penetrate or explore physically, especially with a probe, in order to find or discover something: "Chimpanzees use a variety of tools to probe termite mounds" (Virginia Morell).
b. To investigate by means of a chemical probe.
a. To make an inquiry about (something); investigate or examine: probed the impact of technology on social behavior.
b. To subject (a person) to questioning; interrogate.
1. To make a physical search, especially by penetrating with a probe: birds probing in the sand for clams.
2. To pose questions or conduct an investigation: The police are probing into what really happened.

[Middle English, examination, from Medieval Latin proba, from Late Latin, proof, from Latin probāre, to test, from probus, good; see per in Indo-European roots.]

prob′er n.
prob′ing·ly adv.


with a probing approach
References in periodicals archive ?
During the Black Power phase of the movement, Berger demonstrates that the imprisoned used study groups and forms of collective action in places like Soledad, San Quentin, and Attica more radically and probingly than their civil rights compatriots.
The Satellite lamp, similarly, is a copper disc that faces probingly skyward.
For much of the twentieth century, Berns wrote probingly about many matters of crucial concern to American political life: patriotism, academic freedom, the history of political thought, democracy, constitutional history, capital punishment, and pluralism, among others.
After having written sensitively and probingly about the nature of same-sex attraction in Melville, catalyzed by his exposure to the non-Western sensuality and dress, or lack thereof, of the Marquesan islanders whom he got to know after jumping ship in the 1840s, Robertson-Lorant devotes her entire epilogue to disabusing readers of the idea of a queer Melville, which she disputes as an example of ideological criticism run amok.
This essay examines Mailer's unpublished drafts of the following: a 1952 draft of his short story, "The Dead Gook"; a 1956 draft of his short story, "The Man Who Studied Yoga," and probingly explores the meanings and response to militant Black nationalism in "Looking For Meat and Potatoes.
When people--they are always American--ask probingly where my fear of loss comes from, I am surprised that it is not evident, and shared: I want to say that it comes from love--all kinds of love--and the fact that love is inextricable from loss, but I know before I say it that this will sound melodramatic, that this sentiment is toska, it is Russian, and it does not, cannot translate.
As the interviews continued, Farooq probingly asked questions about my position as a Muslim woman, such as if I had been to Istanbul's nightclubs and visited Taksim.