[ goo-guhl ]

  1. the brand name for a leading internet search engine, founded in 1998.

verb (used with object),Goo·gled, Goo·gling.
  1. (often lowercase) to search the internet for information about (a person, topic, etc.): We googled the new applicant to check her background.

verb (used without object),Goo·gled, Goo·gling.
  1. (often lowercase) to use a search engine such as Google to find information, a website address, etc., on the internet.

Origin of Google

First recorded in 1998; after mathematical term googol

word story For Google

Founded in 1998, the website has become such an institution that in its short existence, it has changed not only the way we process the endless data found online, but also the way we think and talk about the internet.
The term google itself is a creative spelling of googol, a number equal to 10 to the 100th power, or more colloquially, an unfathomable number. Googol was coined in the 1930s and is attributed to the nine-year-old nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner.
Soon after Google was created, the trademarked company name became a popular verb. People were “googling” all sorts of information, including their own names. When users google themselves, unless their names are absurdly rare, they may find their “googlegangers” (a portmanteau word combining “google” and “doppelgänger”), or their namesakes, listed in the Google search results.
A whole new industry has sprung up around Google, including the new field of search-engine optimization or SEO, which works to boost the ranking of a name or term in Google and other search-engine results. In 2005, the newly-minted term Google bomb became popular, to describe the intentional skewing of Google search results by creating links to misleading web pages. Whether we like it or not, we now live in a Google-centric world.

Words that may be confused with Google

Words Nearby Google Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Google in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Google


/ (ˈɡuːɡəl) /

  1. a popular search engine on the internet

verb(without a cap)
  1. to search for (something on the internet) using a search engine

  2. to check (the credentials of someone) by searching for websites containing his or her name

Origin of Google

C20: a play on googol

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