Definition of search in US English:

search

verb

[no object]
  • 1Try 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’
    • ‘I cursed her as I searched through the kitchen cupboards for something to eat.’
    • ‘He picked up a flashlight on the floor and began searching for his name, careful to dim the light as much as he could.’
    • ‘Active during the day, poison arrow frogs spend their daylight hours constantly searching for food.’
    • ‘We walked among the shops, searching for anyone who was looking for an apprentice.’
    • ‘Selina searched through the pile of luggage in order to find her own.’
    • ‘It also includes hints and tips to help you train your eye to search out the special pieces from among the throng.’
    • ‘She searched through her desk drawers until she found what she was looking for.’
    • ‘He mounted once more and began to trot among the trees, searching for the source of the noise.’
    • ‘Police were still searching for clues to determine who had set off the bomb.’
    • ‘In Pakistan, rescuers are frantically searching for survivors in the rubble of Saturday's earthquake.’
    • ‘One of the most powerful tools was the right to search without a warrant.’
    • ‘He searched through his closet, then his drawers, then his closet again.’
    • ‘He was arrested after being picked up by rescuers searching for survivors in the wreckage.’
    • ‘Paulo Coelho has spent his own life constantly searching for answers to philosophical, spiritual and religious questions.’
    • ‘His lax brown eyes scanned the conveyor belt carefully, searching for a black duffel bag.’
    • ‘After searching for him among the various people that filled the room she decided to go upstairs.’
    • ‘She said that she had been driving around for over two hours desperately searching for another way to get home.’
    • ‘We took off our climbing gear and started to fan out over the rocks, keenly searching for fossils.’
    • ‘He said there was a noticeable increase in caution among people searching for a property to buy.’
    • ‘Thinking that morning in the garden had gotten me no where and I was still searching desperately for some answers.’
    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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with 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 government has already extended to police the power to stop and search people suspected of buying or selling drugs.’
      • ‘Upon searching the house officers also found a stash of pirate DVDs.’
      • ‘Investigators searching his room found incriminating evidence - materials matching those of the bomb.’
      • ‘She did not see why the guards had to search the slaves each morning.’
      • ‘Teachers at a Manchester secondary school will search pupils suspected of carrying drugs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The tanning salon was closed as police investigators searched the premises.’
      • ‘In Boston, British soldiers search the houses of the rebel leaders in vain.’
      • ‘Even I do not pay any attention to the armed guards searching me before I enter any public place.’
      • ‘Their home address was also searched by police officers.’
      • ‘Police searched his person and his room but no firearms were found, George maintained.’
      • ‘His eyes frantically searched the room, in a panic.’
      • ‘Police then searched his house in Naklua, but once again did not find any illegal drugs.’
      • ‘He said police would thoroughly search the cars of the two for illicit goods.’
      • ‘The driver was searched by security guards but they did not check inside the lorry, said the newspaper.’
      • ‘Police and staff had to search fans for weapons before the start of the show and found items including ironing boards and kitchen sinks.’
      • ‘It is better for private security firms to search staff and guard buildings.’
      • ‘Rescuers searched the area for three hours before they finally found the fisherman.’
      • ‘Detectives searched his house after Jodi's body was found, and took a number of items away for examination.’
      look around, look round, explore, probe, hunt through, look through, scrabble about in, scrabble around in, root about in, root around in, ferret in, 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. 1.2with 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’
      • ‘We haven't abandoned Google for searching the web yet - such habits are hard to break.’
      • ‘Allow users to search their network for keywords so they can connect with others for mutual benefit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So searching using 25 words will probably get you little or no results.’
      • ‘Visitors to the portal can simultaneously search the databases of six large e-book shops.’
      • ‘So Joe was able to search the database for information about himself as well as his ancestor.’
      • ‘Now they can achieve much the same result by searching the Internet at no cost.’
      • ‘Data scanned could be sent to a database that is searched automatically for certain triggers.’
      • ‘Quantum computation would enable one to search enormous databases with extraordinary efficiency.’
      • ‘When I searched using google, I found some interesting information.’
      • ‘He was also frustrated at the time it took to search the Internet for new material that he was interested in downloading.’
      • ‘Madoka asked him to search every network he knew of for information.’
      • ‘For this review, the authors systematically searched several databases.’
      • ‘Practising doctors do not have time to search multiple sites or scroll through long text.’
      • ‘By searching the database a user can find out if a match exists for the buyer or seller who they are dealing with.’
      • ‘Blast helps scientists search databases of protein and DNA sequences.’
      • ‘You can search their site for trips with last-minute availability by location, activity, or date, or other criteria.’
      • ‘Read books, get in touch with organisations and search the internet for information.’
      • ‘The database can be searched by school name, by state and by ethnicity of students.’
      • ‘I come across you useful site while searching for a hotel near the airport.’
      • ‘I walked to Ken's office and sat at his computer and started searching the databases.’

noun

  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Thinking of that made her smile in anticipation and she summoned the energy to continue her fruitless search.’
    • ‘In search of opportunities to fulfil his dreams, he goes away from his caring brother.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In search of answers, they bolted and ran to alternative practitioners.’
    • ‘The book is really a story about a man's search for truth.’
    • ‘Locals believe its bells were thrown into the river at the time, but searches have been unsuccessful.’
    • ‘Trying to find truth in the blogs is like the search for the Holy Grail.’
    • ‘Laughter erupted again and the beloved professor's life revealed one man's desperate search for truth.’
    • ‘Systematic literature searches were conducted to assess the evidence for and against the effectiveness of kava extract for treating anxiety.’
    • ‘In the past decade we started a frantic search for clues that might lead to its cure.’
    • ‘Military police entered the village and began conducting house-to-house searches.’
    • ‘Yesterday they were carrying out house-to-house inquiries and carried out a thorough forensic search of the area.’
    • ‘The film tells the story of a woman's search for the truth behind her sister's disappearance.’
    • ‘University of Iowa officials began a nationwide search for a replacement.’
    • ‘Police officers began a fingertip search of the area yesterday in an attempt to retrieve physical evidence.’
    • ‘They carried out a thorough search of the premises for evidence of unlicensed slaughtering operations.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, their search has yielded no sign of Marcus.’
    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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An act or instance of searching a database or the World Wide Web.
      ‘time-consuming searches of the Internet’
      • ‘Microsoft uses its software already on your computer to run a search, while Google use its own site.’
      • ‘Manhunts are going to become mere database searches.’
      • ‘A computerized search through all relevant databases was also conducted using several combinations of keywords.’
      • ‘Databases were queried and a quick web search revealed that the ponderous error message was written in Polish.’
      • ‘To determine the correct gene structure, we performed a sequence similarity search against the protein database.’
      • ‘We found qualitative studies that focused directly on double standards through our computerized database searches.’
      • ‘All database searches were performed online and finished in early June 2000.’
      • ‘A final heuristic search was initiated with all parameters estimated.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A blast homology search of all available databases reveals no significant homology to the white locus polymorphic indel.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Start your research on ceramic tiles by doing a quick Internet search.’
      • ‘As with the scanned resume, this allows your resume to be accessible during keyword database searches.’
      • ‘My Google searches haven't turned up any first rate sources.’
      • ‘They often asked questions that were too vague or did not lend themselves to keyword searches on the computer databases.’
      • ‘Presenter Ashley Blake says: " A quick internet search revealed a company which makes plates for ' show '.’
      • ‘In addition, personal interviews and online database searches were conducted.’
      • ‘Google's updated search is - again - free for download and combines searches of desktops, intranets and the internet.’
    2. 1.2Computing The systematic retrieval of information, or the facility for this.
    3. 1.3usually searchesLaw An investigation of public records to find if a property is subject to any liabilities or encumbrances.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She maintains that she did not discover the transfer until 1998 when her lawyer conducted a title search on the property.’
      • ‘Instruct your solicitor to inspect local and national searches and the title deeds for any onerous covenants, restrictions, etc.’
      • ‘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.’

Phrases

  • 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
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French cerchier (verb), from late Latin circare ‘go round’, from Latin circus ‘circle’.

Pronunciation

search

/sərtʃ//sərCH/