Difference Between Explore and Discover

Key Difference – Explore vs Discover 

 

Explore and discover are two words between which a key difference can be identified although in general they convey a similar meaning. To explore something is to travel through an unfamiliar area in order to learn about it or else to examine something. On the other hand, discover is to find something or else to gain knowledge or become aware of something. A key difference between the two words is that while discover highlights that someone is the first to observe or find something, explore does not emphasize this meaning. Through this article let us examine the difference further.

What is Explore?

First let us focus on the word explore. Explore can be used when we are talking about some strange land or place that we are about to travel through. It gives an idea that the person travels on the purpose of learning something new of the land. Here are some examples.

The biologists were excited to explore the new land as they hoped to benefit from this journey.

Exploring the jungle proved to be a challenge for all of us.

It is through insurmountable difficulties that we finally explored the interior of the caves.

From the examples mentioned above it is clear that the word explore can be used with traveling in unknown and mystique places.

Explore can also be used when we want to talk about examining something.

She explored the objects closely so that nothing would go unnoticed.

Although we explored the terrain, we failed to find anything of value.

As you can see through the examples, exploring something consists of scrutinizing something or else examining something. This can refer to a place or even an object.

Difference Between Explore and Discover

What is Discover?

Discovering something can also have a myriad of meanings. Firstly it can be used to refer to the first to learn something. Here are some examples.

Penicillium was discovered by the Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming.

Radium was discovered by Marie Curie.

Discover can also be used when we want to refer to something that we have learnt or become aware of. This does not have to be a first form of discovery but can even refer to our day to day activities.

I completed the work and went to the submission office to hand over the week’s report only to discover that the deadline has been extended.

The discovery of her whereabouts shocked the entire family.

Discover is used to refer to a new experience as well.

We discovered a nice little cottage on the outskirts of the town.

He discovered a beautiful lake by the old house.

Discover can be used when referring to a person’s potential.

His true potential was discovered in college theatre.

It was he who discovered her true talent.

Key Difference - Explore vs Discover

What is the difference between Explore and Discover?

Definitions of Explore and Discover:

Explore: Explore something is to travel through an unfamiliar area in order to learn about it or else to examine something.

Discover: Discover is to find something or else to gain knowledge or become aware of something.

Characteristics of Explore and Discover:

Individual:

Explore: Explore cannot be used for individual potential.

Discover: Discover can be used to refer to individual potential.

Initial form:

Explore: Explore is not particularly used when referring to the first to learn about something.

Discover: Discover is particularly used when we want to refer to the first to learn something.

 

Image Courtesy

1. “Ratargul Swamp Forest, Sylhet.” by Sumon Mallick – Own work. [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Commons

2. Portrait of Marie Curie [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons