search [surch] /sɜrtʃ/ Show IPA
verb (used with object)
to go or look through (a place, area, etc.) carefully in order to find something missing or lost:
They searched the woods for the missing child. I searched the desk for the letter.
to look at or examine (a person, object, etc.) carefully in order to find something concealed:
He searched the vase for signs of a crack. The police searched the suspect for weapons.
to explore or examine in order to discover:
They searched the hills for gold.
to look at, read, or examine (a record, writing, collection, repository, etc.) for information:
to search a property title; He searched the courthouse for a record of the deed to the land.
to look at or beneath the superficial aspects of to discover a motive, reaction, feeling, basic truth, etc.:
He searched her face for a clue to her true feelings.
to look into, question, or scrutinize:
She searched her conscience.
(of natural elements) to pierce or penetrate:
The sunlight searched the room's dark corners.
to uncover or find by examination or exploration (often followed by out
to search out all the facts.
Military. to fire artillery over (an area) with successive changes in gun elevation.
to electronically retrieve data, Web pages, database records, or other information from (files, databases, etc.) by typing relevant terms into a search engine or other search tool:
Most of us have searched the Internet for medical advice.
verb (used without object)
to inquire, investigate, examine, or seek; conduct an examination or investigation.
the act of searching; careful examination or investigation:
Her date with the guy she met online went badly, so her search for “Mr. Right” continues.
an instance of this:
Did the search turn up any clues?
the practice, on the part of naval officers of a belligerent nation, of boarding and examining a suspected neutral vessel at sea in order to ascertain its true nationality and determine if it is carrying contraband:
the right of visit and search.
the act or process of electronically retrieving data, Web pages, database records, or other information from files, databases, etc., as in Boolean search; keyword search:
A search of the article turned up two references to my company.
I don't know:
Why has it taken so long to reach a decision? Search me.
1300–50; (v.) Middle English serchen, cerchen (< Anglo-French sercher) < Old French cerchier < Late Latin circāre to go around, derivative of Latin circus circle; (noun) Middle English serche < Anglo-French serche, Old French cerche, derivative of cerchier
outsearch, verb (used with object)
presearch, noun, verb (used with object)
1. investigate. 2. inspect. 12. inspection, scrutiny.