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[sawt] /sɔt/
simple past tense and past participle of seek.
Related forms
self-sought, adjective
unsought, adjective


[seek] /sik/
verb (used with object), sought, seeking.
to go in search or quest of:
to seek the truth.
to try to find or discover by searching or questioning:
to seek the solution to a problem.
to try to obtain:
to seek fame.
to try or attempt (usually followed by an infinitive):
to seek to convince a person.
to go to:
to seek a place to rest.
to ask for; request:
to seek advice.
Archaic. to search or explore.
verb (used without object), sought, seeking.
to make inquiry.
be sought after, to be desired or in demand:
Graduates in the physical sciences are most sought after by employers these days.
before 900; Middle English seken, Old English sēcan; cognate with German suchen, Old Norse sœkja, Gothic sōkjan; akin to Latin sāgīre to perceive by scent (see presage, sagacity); cf. beseech
Related forms
outseek, verb (used with object), outsought, outseeking.
reseek, verb (used with object), resought, reseeking.
unseeking, adjective
3. pursue, follow. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for sought
  • You'll find the same seclusion the stars sought on this typically uncrowded stretch.
  • Gays sought the right not to be discriminated against in the workplace.
  • They sought the right not to be treated differently in the military.
  • Not long ago, a major public research university sought a new president to follow its revered and nationally known leader.
  • In my five years in elementary education, some of my students and their parents sought my help for various personal challenges.
  • When she sued, alleging violations of her free-speech and due-process rights, she sought the degree in education.
  • Affluent quilt-makers sought the finest of these calicoes and chintzes to sew into lavish bedcovers.
  • Automats, moreover, always sought to offer the widest possible variety of culinary choices.
  • Other climbers sought challenge in climbing techniques.
  • With such wild stories about the origins of spices, it was no wonder that they were so expensive and sought-after.
British Dictionary definitions for sought


the past tense and past participle of seek


verb (mainly transitive) seeks, seeking, sought
when intr, often foll by for or after. to try to find by searching; look for to seek a solution
(also intransitive) to try to obtain or acquire to seek happiness
to attempt (to do something); try I'm only seeking to help
(also intransitive) to enquire about or request (something) to seek help
to go or resort to to seek the garden for peace
an archaic word for explore
Derived Forms
seeker, noun
Word Origin
Old English sēcan; related to Old Norse sōkja, Gothic sōkjan, Old High German suohhen, Latin sāgīre to perceive by scent; see beseech
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sought
O.E. secan "visit, inquire, pursue," influenced by O.N. soekja, both from P.Gmc. *sokjanan (cf. O.S. sokian, O.Fris. seka, M.Du. soekan, O.H.G. suohhan, Ger. suchen, Goth. sokjan), from PIE *sag- "to track down, to trace" (cf. L. sagire "to perceive quickly or keenly," sagus "presaging, predicting," O.Ir. saigim "seek"). The modern form of the word as uninfluenced by O.N. is in beseech. The religious sect of the Seekers is attested from 1645.
pt. and pp. of seek, from O.E. sohte (see seek).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with sought
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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