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.
Digital Technology. 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.
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.
Digital Technology. 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.
Idioms about search
search me, I don't know: Why has it taken so long to reach a decision? Search me.
- search·a·ble, adjective
- search·a·ble·ness, noun
- searcher, noun
- outsearch, verb (used with object)
- pre·search, noun, verb (used with object)
- un·der·search, noun
- un·searched, adjective
- well-searched, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use search in a sentence
You’re in search of sweets for your sweethearts more than ever and you’re ready to try something new.How You’re Making Valentine’s Day Weekend Special At Home | Charli Penn | February 12, 2021 | Essence.com
Best weighted blanket brands to knowThere are a few specifically great brands we think you should be familiar with when you start your weighted blanket search.Best weighted blanket: Sleep like a baby with our comfy bedding picks | PopSci Commerce Team | February 12, 2021 | Popular-Science
It plans on rolling it out globally at some point, which is expected to have a 7% impact in the search queries.Google goes dark theme and passage ranking sees the light: Friday’s daily brief | Barry Schwartz | February 12, 2021 | Search Engine Land
One of the great advantages of having search data mapped on a graph is that you can easily spot the highs and lows of how many times keywords were searched for.A comprehensive guide on using Google Trends for keyword research | Aayush Gupta | February 12, 2021 | Search Engine Watch
In 2019, The Fact Checker noticed the spread of misleading video posed a challenge not only to fact-checkers but also to anyone relying on social media or Web searches to get information or find the latest news.Introducing #DIYFactCheck, a project from The Fact Checker | Nadine Ajaka, Elyse Samuels, Sarah Cahlan | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
In my search for answers about who I was, I pored over religious texts in search of enlightenment.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen | Parker Molloy | January 1, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
After a hit, they would adjust the search to the most likely route from there.
The ATSB has been impressive in the way it has taken over the direction of the search for Flight 370.
search teams find dozens of people and jet debris floating in the Java Sea, as the airline confirms the wreckage is from QZ8501.
We separate the search for justice from the search for truth at our peril.
Felipe was so full of impatience to continue his search, that he hardly listened to the Father's words.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
He will search out the hidden meanings of proverbs, and will be conversant in the secrets of parables.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
But such refuge, he knew, could avail him nothing if the bear should scent him out and search for him.The Giant of the North | R.M. Ballantyne
His search has always hitherto been fruitless, and he has sunk back, disheartened, into the sea.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
Joe,” said Mr. Wardle, after an unsuccessful search in all his pockets, “is my snuff-box on the sofa?The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, v. 2(of 2) | Charles Dickens
British Dictionary definitions for search
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) closely: to 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
- searchable, adjective
- searcher, noun
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with search
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.