One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Radio and Television. A facility by which a receiver or tuner can automatically scan a range of frequencies or channels and locate ones at which there is a strong signal.
2A facility by which a tape machine or disc player can automatically locate a desired portion of a recording.
3Computing. A program that performs a search automatically; a search carried out by such a program.
1940s. From auto- + search.
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