a. The action of examining thoroughly; investigation, scrutiny, study; an instance of this.In later use coloured by sense 2.
b. Medicine and Surgery. Originally: physical examination of a part of the body using the techniques of inspection, palpation, auscultation, and percussion (now rare). In later use: examination of an inner part of the body by a surgical or endoscopic procedure, esp. as an aid to diagnosis; an instance of this.
2. The action of travelling to or around an uncharted or unknown area for the purposes of discovery and gathering information; (later also) the action or activity of going to or around an unfamiliar place in order to learn about it. Also as a count noun: an instance of this; an expedition for the purpose of discovery.
3. The searching and testing of a designated area for natural resources, in order to determine whether mining or extraction activities are commercially viable. Also: an instance or means of doing this.oil exploration: see the first element.
a. General attributive (in sense 2).
b. attributive. Of or relating to searching and testing for natural resources, esp. oil; as exploration rig, exploration well, etc. Cf. sense 3.
exploration licence n. a licence that permits the holder to search an area for natural resources and extract samples for a designated period in order to determine whether to proceed with extensive mining or extraction activities.
► indicates date of composition for this text (as opposed to date of documentary evidence). More