[ surch ]
/ sɜrtʃ /
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.
Computers. 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.
Computers. 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.
Words nearby search
Idioms for search
search me, I don't know: Why has it taken so long to reach a decision? Search me.
Origin of search
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
OTHER WORDS FROM search
search·a·ble, adjectivesearch·a·ble·ness, nounsearch·er, nounout·search, verb (used with object)
pre·search, noun, verb (used with object)un·der·search, nounun·searched, adjectivewell-searched, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for outsearch
/ (sɜːtʃ) /
to look through (a place, records, etc) thoroughly in order to find someone or something
(tr) to examine (a person) for concealed objects by running one's hands over the clothing
to look at or examine (something) closelyto search one's conscience
(tr foll by out) to discover by investigation
- to explore (a bodily cavity) during a surgical procedure
- to probe (a wound)
(tr) military to fire all over (an area)
computing to review (a file) to locate specific information
archaic to penetrate
search me informal I don't know
the act or an instance of searching
the examination of a vessel by the right of search
- a review of a file to locate specific information
- (as modifier)a search routine
right of search international law the right possessed by the warships of a belligerent state in time of war to board and search merchant vessels to ascertain whether ship or cargo is liable to seizure
Derived forms of searchsearchable, adjectivesearcher, noun
Word Origin for search
C14: from Old French cerchier, from Late Latin circāre to go around, from Latin circus circle
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
Idioms and Phrases with outsearch
In addition to the idiom beginning with search
- search me
- high and low, search
- in search of
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.