Definition of search in English:



  • 1 Try to find something by looking or otherwise seeking carefully and thoroughly.

    ‘I searched among the rocks, but there was nothing’
    ‘Daniel is then able to search out the most advantageous mortgage’
    ‘Hugh will be searching for the truth’
    • ‘After searching for him among the various people that filled the room she decided to go upstairs.’
    • ‘Thinking that morning in the garden had gotten me no where and I was still searching desperately for some answers.’
    • ‘It also includes hints and tips to help you train your eye to search out the special pieces from among the throng.’
    • ‘He was arrested after being picked up by rescuers searching for survivors in the wreckage.’
    • ‘He searched through his closet, then his drawers, then his closet again.’
    • ‘We walked among the shops, searching for anyone who was looking for an apprentice.’
    • ‘He said there was a noticeable increase in caution among people searching for a property to buy.’
    • ‘He picked up a flashlight on the floor and began searching for his name, careful to dim the light as much as he could.’
    • ‘I cursed her as I searched through the kitchen cupboards for something to eat.’
    • ‘In Pakistan, rescuers are frantically searching for survivors in the rubble of Saturday's earthquake.’
    • ‘He mounted once more and began to trot among the trees, searching for the source of the noise.’
    • ‘His lax brown eyes scanned the conveyor belt carefully, searching for a black duffel bag.’
    • ‘We took off our climbing gear and started to fan out over the rocks, keenly searching for fossils.’
    • ‘Police were still searching for clues to determine who had set off the bomb.’
    • ‘One of the most powerful tools was the right to search without a warrant.’
    • ‘She searched through her desk drawers until she found what she was looking for.’
    • ‘Paulo Coelho has spent his own life constantly searching for answers to philosophical, spiritual and religious questions.’
    • ‘Selina searched through the pile of luggage in order to find her own.’
    • ‘She said that she had been driving around for over two hours desperately searching for another way to get home.’
    • ‘Active during the day, poison arrow frogs spend their daylight hours constantly searching for food.’
    hunt, look, explore, forage, fish about, fish around, look high and low, cast about, cast around, cast round, ferret, ferret about, ferret around, root about, root around, rummage about, rummage around
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    1. 1.1[with object]Examine (a place, vehicle, or person) thoroughly in order to find something or someone.
      ‘she searched the house from top to bottom’
      ‘the guards searched him for weapons’
      • ‘The driver was searched by security guards but they did not check inside the lorry, said the newspaper.’
      • ‘It is better for private security firms to search staff and guard buildings.’
      • ‘Police searched his person and his room but no firearms were found, George maintained.’
      • ‘He said police would thoroughly search the cars of the two for illicit goods.’
      • ‘The tanning salon was closed as police investigators searched the premises.’
      • ‘She did not see why the guards had to search the slaves each morning.’
      • ‘Their home address was also searched by police officers.’
      • ‘Even I do not pay any attention to the armed guards searching me before I enter any public place.’
      • ‘Upon searching the house officers also found a stash of pirate DVDs.’
      • ‘In Boston, British soldiers search the houses of the rebel leaders in vain.’
      • ‘Police then searched his house in Naklua, but once again did not find any illegal drugs.’
      • ‘Rescuers searched the area for three hours before they finally found the fisherman.’
      • ‘Setting off the alarm at the security check, I was searched much more thoroughly than I'd ever been before.’
      • ‘Upon entering the building, the guards told Ric that they needed to search him for any weapons.’
      • ‘Teachers at a Manchester secondary school will search pupils suspected of carrying drugs.’
      • ‘Detectives searched his house after Jodi's body was found, and took a number of items away for examination.’
      • ‘Investigators searching his room found incriminating evidence - materials matching those of the bomb.’
      • ‘The government has already extended to police the power to stop and search people suspected of buying or selling drugs.’
      • ‘Police and staff had to search fans for weapons before the start of the show and found items including ironing boards and kitchen sinks.’
      • ‘His eyes frantically searched the room, in a panic.’
      look around, look round, explore, probe, hunt through, look through, scrabble about in, scrabble around in, root about in, root around in, ferret, ferret about in, ferret around in, rummage about in, rummage around in, rummage in, rummage through, forage through, fish about in, fish around in, poke around in, dig in, grub about in, grub around in, delve in, go through, sift through, rifle through, scour, comb, ransack, turn over, go through with a fine-tooth comb
      examine, inspect, check, frisk
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    2. 1.2[with object]Look for information in (a database or the World Wide Web) using a search engine.
      ‘search our online archive for stories dating back to February 1996’
      ‘I must search the Internet for one of his pictures’
      [no object] ‘you can search for recipes by topic or by entering a keyword’
      • ‘So Joe was able to search the database for information about himself as well as his ancestor.’
      • ‘Allow users to search their network for keywords so they can connect with others for mutual benefit.’
      • ‘For this review, the authors systematically searched several databases.’
      • ‘If people come to your site and consistently search for specific keyword phrases, then you know you are not making those keyword phrases obvious to visitors.’
      • ‘Madoka asked him to search every network he knew of for information.’
      • ‘I come across you useful site while searching for a hotel near the airport.’
      • ‘Practising doctors do not have time to search multiple sites or scroll through long text.’
      • ‘Visitors to the portal can simultaneously search the databases of six large e-book shops.’
      • ‘The database can be searched by school name, by state and by ethnicity of students.’
      • ‘So searching using 25 words will probably get you little or no results.’
      • ‘Data scanned could be sent to a database that is searched automatically for certain triggers.’
      • ‘We haven't abandoned Google for searching the web yet - such habits are hard to break.’
      • ‘Blast helps scientists search databases of protein and DNA sequences.’
      • ‘Read books, get in touch with organisations and search the internet for information.’
      • ‘Now they can achieve much the same result by searching the Internet at no cost.’
      • ‘I walked to Ken's office and sat at his computer and started searching the databases.’
      • ‘Quantum computation would enable one to search enormous databases with extraordinary efficiency.’
      • ‘By searching the database a user can find out if a match exists for the buyer or seller who they are dealing with.’
      • ‘He was also frustrated at the time it took to search the Internet for new material that he was interested in downloading.’
      • ‘When I searched using google, I found some interesting information.’
      • ‘You can search their site for trips with last-minute availability by location, activity, or date, or other criteria.’


  • 1An act of searching for someone or something.

    ‘the police carried out a thorough search of the premises’
    ‘he plans to go to the Himalayas in search of a yeti’
    • ‘Meanwhile in the woods, Alonzo continued the fruitless search for his beloved Rose.’
    • ‘With the bit between their teeth, Wolfhill quickly went in search of the equaliser.’
    • ‘Systematic literature searches were conducted to assess the evidence for and against the effectiveness of kava extract for treating anxiety.’
    • ‘Trying to find truth in the blogs is like the search for the Holy Grail.’
    • ‘Military police entered the village and began conducting house-to-house searches.’
    • ‘Locals believe its bells were thrown into the river at the time, but searches have been unsuccessful.’
    • ‘The book is really a story about a man's search for truth.’
    • ‘Yesterday they were carrying out house-to-house inquiries and carried out a thorough forensic search of the area.’
    • ‘Laughter erupted again and the beloved professor's life revealed one man's desperate search for truth.’
    • ‘Subsequently, there is pain and bitterness, an endless search for a miracle cure.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the search for a cure for the GM virus was proving difficult.’
    • ‘They carried out a thorough search of the premises for evidence of unlicensed slaughtering operations.’
    • ‘In search of answers, they bolted and ran to alternative practitioners.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, their search has yielded no sign of Marcus.’
    • ‘Police officers began a fingertip search of the area yesterday in an attempt to retrieve physical evidence.’
    • ‘In search of opportunities to fulfil his dreams, he goes away from his caring brother.’
    • ‘In the past decade we started a frantic search for clues that might lead to its cure.’
    • ‘University of Iowa officials began a nationwide search for a replacement.’
    • ‘The film tells the story of a woman's search for the truth behind her sister's disappearance.’
    • ‘Thinking of that made her smile in anticipation and she summoned the energy to continue her fruitless search.’
    hunt, look, exploration, scout, probe, dig, digging, forage, foraging, scavenge, scavenging, ferreting, ferreting about, ferreting around, rummage, rummaging about, rummaging around, rooting about, rooting around, rifling, scouring, quest, pursuit of, seeking after
    searching for, hunting for, after, seeking, looking for, on the lookout for, in quest of, in pursuit of, on the track of, questing after, chasing after
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    1. 1.1An act or instance of searching a database or the World Wide Web.
      ‘I did a search for creative-writing courses at UK universities and came up with 422’
      • ‘All database searches were performed online and finished in early June 2000.’
      • ‘Start your research on ceramic tiles by doing a quick Internet search.’
      • ‘Databases were queried and a quick web search revealed that the ponderous error message was written in Polish.’
      • ‘As with the scanned resume, this allows your resume to be accessible during keyword database searches.’
      • ‘In addition, personal interviews and online database searches were conducted.’
      • ‘They often asked questions that were too vague or did not lend themselves to keyword searches on the computer databases.’
      • ‘A blast homology search of all available databases reveals no significant homology to the white locus polymorphic indel.’
      • ‘A computerized search through all relevant databases was also conducted using several combinations of keywords.’
      • ‘To determine the correct gene structure, we performed a sequence similarity search against the protein database.’
      • ‘My Google searches haven't turned up any first rate sources.’
      • ‘Google's updated search is - again - free for download and combines searches of desktops, intranets and the internet.’
      • ‘Presenter Ashley Blake says: " A quick internet search revealed a company which makes plates for ' show '.’
      • ‘Microsoft uses its software already on your computer to run a search, while Google use its own site.’
      • ‘A final heuristic search was initiated with all parameters estimated.’
      • ‘A heuristic search was carried out to find the most parsimonious tree (s).’
      • ‘Yet, and extensive internet search only reveals that there are over 2000 varieties of English apples.’
      • ‘Manhunts are going to become mere database searches.’
      • ‘Missing data that was never collected during an investigative process can also affect database searches.’
      • ‘Users would be able to go to Google and find a search link to a database of text from some 60,000 books.’
      • ‘We found qualitative studies that focused directly on double standards through our computerized database searches.’
    2. 1.2Computing The systematic retrieval of information, or the facility for this.
      ‘the advanced search includes options for sorting by date and specifying the news source’
      [as modifier] ‘users will abandon a site if the search function doesn't work well’
    3. 1.3Law An investigation of public records to find if a property is subject to any liabilities or encumbrances.
      • ‘Instruct your solicitor to inspect local and national searches and the title deeds for any onerous covenants, restrictions, etc.’
      • ‘She maintains that she did not discover the transfer until 1998 when her lawyer conducted a title search on the property.’
      • ‘After a two-month search of public records in Britain, all leads ran dry.’
      • ‘As an example, Midland County allows the public five free searches of property tax information.’
      • ‘Before entering into a contract to buy an estate in land, it is usual also to make a search about the property in the local land charges register.’


  • search me!

    • informal I do not know (used for emphasis).

      i don't know, how should i know?, why ask me?, it's a mystery, i haven't an clue, i haven't an inkling, i haven't the least idea, i've no idea
      dunno, don't ask me, i haven't the first idea, i haven't the first notion, i haven't the faintest/foggiest, i haven't the faintest idea, i haven't the faintest notion, i haven't the foggiest idea, i haven't the foggiest notion, it beats me, ask me another
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Middle English: from Old French cerchier (verb), from late Latin circare go round, from Latin circus circle.