What does search mean?

Definitions for search

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word search.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. search, hunt, huntingnoun

    the activity of looking thoroughly in order to find something or someone

  2. searchnoun

    an investigation seeking answers

    "a thorough search of the ledgers revealed nothing"; "the outcome justified the search"

  3. search, lookupnoun

    an operation that determines whether one or more of a set of items has a specified property

    "they wrote a program to do a table lookup"

  4. searchnoun

    the examination of alternative hypotheses

    "his search for a move that would avoid checkmate was unsuccessful"

  5. searchverb

    boarding and inspecting a ship on the high seas

    "right of search"

  6. search, seek, look forverb

    try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of

    "The police are searching for clues"; "They are searching for the missing man in the entire county"

  7. search, lookverb

    search or seek

    "We looked all day and finally found the child in the forest"; "Look elsewhere for the perfect gift!"

  8. research, search, exploreverb

    inquire into

    "the students had to research the history of the Second World War for their history project"; "He searched for information on his relatives on the web"; "Scientists are exploring the nature of consciousness"

  9. searchverb

    subject to a search

    "The police searched the suspect"; "We searched the whole house for the missing keys"


  1. searchnoun

    An attempt to find something.

    With only five minutes until we were meant to leave, the search for the keys started in earnest.

  2. searchnoun

    The act of searching in general.

    Search is a hard problem for computers to solve efficiently

  3. searchverb

    To look in (a place) for something.

    I searched the garden for the keys and found them in the vegetable patch.

  4. searchverb

    To look thoroughly.

    The police are searching for evidence in his flat.

  5. searchverb

    To look for, seek.

  6. searchverb

    To probe or examine (a wound).

  7. Etymology: From serchen, from sercher, cerchier, from circare.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Searchnoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    The orb he roam’d
    With narrow search, and with inspection deep. John Milton.

    His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff: you shall seek all day ere you find them, and when you have them they are not worth the search. William Shakespeare.

    Who great in search of God and nature grow,
    They best the wise Creator’s praise declare. Dryden.

    Now mourn thy fatal search;
    It is not safe to have too quick a sense. Dryden.

    The mind sets itself on work in search of some hidden idea, and turns the eye of the soul upon it. John Locke.

    By the philosophical use of words, I mean such an use as conveys the precise notions of things, which the mind may be satisfied with in its search after knowledge. John Locke.

    The parents, after a long search for the boy, gave him for drowned in a canal. Addison.

    This common practice carries the heart aside from all that is honest in our search after truth. Isaac Watts.

    If zealous love should go in search of virtue,
    Where should he find it purer than in Blanch? William Shakespeare.

    Stay him from his intendment, or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into; in that it is a thing of his own search, and altogether against my will. William Shakespeare, As you like it.

    Nor did my search of liberty begin,
    ’Till my black hairs were chang’d upon my chin. Dryden.

  2. To SEARCHverb

    Etymology: chercher, French.

    Help to search my house this one time: if I find not what I seek, let me for ever be your table sport. William Shakespeare.

    They returned from searching of the land. Num. xiii. 25.

    Through the void immense
    To search with wand’ring quest a place foretold. John Milton.

    Now clear I understand
    What oft my steddiest thoughts have search’d in vain. John Milton.

    Enough is left besides to search and know. John Milton.

    Draw up some valuable meditations from the depths of the earth, and search them through the vast ocean. Isaac Watts.

    Alas, poor shepherd! searching of thy wound,
    I have, by hard adventure, found my own. William Shakespeare.

    With this good sword,
    That ran through Cæsar’s bowels, search this bosom. William Shakespeare.

    For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart. Judg. v. 16.

    The signs of wounds penetrating are discovered by the proportion of the searching candle, or probe which enters into the cavity. Richard Wiseman, Surgery.

    Who went before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in? Deutr. i. 33.

    They may sometimes be successful to search out truth. Isaac Watts.

  3. To Searchverb

    Satisfy me once more; once more search with me. William Shakespeare.

    To ask or search I blame thee not. John Milton.

    Those who seriously search after or maintain truth, should study to deliver themselves without obscurity or equivocation. John Locke.

    It suffices that they have once with care sifted the matter, and searched into all the particulars that could give any light to the question. John Locke.

    With piercing eye some search where nature plays,
    And trace the wanton through her darksome maze. Thomas Tickell.

    Your husband’s coming, woman, to search for a gentleman that is here now in the house. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    We in vain search for that constitution within a fly, upon which depend those powers we observe in them. John Locke.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Searchverb

    to look over or through, for the purpose of finding something; to examine; to explore; as, to search the city

  2. Searchverb

    to inquire after; to look for; to seek

  3. Searchverb

    to examine or explore by feeling with an instrument; to probe; as, to search a wound

  4. Searchverb

    to examine; to try; to put to the test

  5. Searchverb

    to seek; to look for something; to make inquiry, exploration, or examination; to hunt

  6. Searchverb

    the act of seeking or looking for something; quest; inquiry; pursuit for finding something; examination


  1. Search

    Search is an American science fiction series that aired on Wednesday nights on NBC at 10 pm ET, from September 1972 to August 1973. It ran for 23 episodes, not including the two-hour pilot film originally titled Probe. When picked up for series production, the title had to be changed because Probe was the name of an existing PBS series. In the UK the series aired on BBC 1 under the title Search Control. The show was created by Leslie Stevens, and produced by Leslie Stevens, Robert Justman, John Strong and Tony Spinner. The high concept was described as "science fiction in today's world" and the episodes featured many high-tech elements which are considered common in current science fiction shows.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Search

    sėrch, v.t. to look round to find: to seek; to examine: to inspect: to explore: to put to the test: to probe.—v.i. to seek for: to make inquiry.—n. the act of seeking or looking for: examination: inquiry: investigation: pursuit.—adj. Search′able, capable of being searched.—ns. Search′ableness, the state or quality of being searchable; Search′er, a seeker: an inquirer or examiner: a custom-house officer: an officer who formerly apprehended idlers on the street during church hours in Scotland: a sieve or strainer.—adj. Search′ing, looking over closely: penetrating: trying: severe.—adv. Search′ingly.—n. Search′ingness, the quality of being searching, penetrating, or severe.—adj. Search′less, unsearchable.—ns. Search′-light, an electric arc-light used on board ship and in military operations; Search′-warr′ant, a legal warrant authorising a search for stolen goods, &c.—Right of search, the right claimed by one nation to authorise the commanders of their cruisers to search private merchant-vessels for articles contraband of war. [O. Fr. cercher (Fr. chercher)—L. circāre, to go about—circus, a circle.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. search

    1. An operation to locate an enemy force known or believed to be at sea. 2. A systematic reconnaissance of a defined area, so that all parts of the area have passed within visibility. 3. To distribute gunfire over an area in depth by successive changes in gun elevation.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. search

    If the act of submitting to search is to subject neutral vessels to confiscation by the enemy, the parties must look to that enemy whose the injustice is for redress, but they are not to shelter themselves by committing a fraud upon the undoubted rights of the other country.

Suggested Resources

  1. search

    Song lyrics by search -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by search on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'search' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2021

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'search' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4145

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'search' in Nouns Frequency: #838

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'search' in Verbs Frequency: #454

Anagrams for search »

  1. achers

  2. Arches

  3. arches

  4. casher

  5. chaser

  6. eschar

  7. recash

How to pronounce search?

How to say search in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of search in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of search in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of search in a Sentence

  1. Sundar Pichai:

    Access to information has never been more important, this year, including this quarter, showed how valuable Google's founding product, search, has been to people.

  2. Briony Horgan:

    Here on Earth, we find silica deposition in glaciers which are characteristic of melting water, on Mars, we can identify similar silica deposits in younger areas, but we can also see older areas which are similar to deep soils from warm climates on Earth. This leads us to believe that on Mars 3 to 4 billion years ago, we had a general slow trend from warm to cold, with periods of thawing and freezing. If this is so, it is important in the search for possible life on Mars.

  3. Executive Director J. Pete Blair:

    One of the things that motivates at least a big chunk of them is the search for notoriety and fame.

  4. Eric Sumberg:

    At this time the Systems are in the midst of a search for TIPS mangers.

  5. The Chronicle:

    There’s been a lot of increases in technology for DNA, and we were able to get more information that led us to believe that this was the suspect. That’s why we were able to do the search warrant today.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for search

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for search »


Find a translation for the search definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these search definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "search." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Jan. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/search>.

    Are we missing a good definition for search? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    regarding something abstract as a material thing
    • A. confrere
    • B. hypostatization
    • C. schlockmeister
    • D. swathing

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for search: