• (RP) IPA: /sɜːt͡ʃ/
  • (America) IPA: /sɝt͡ʃ/


  1. An attempt to find something.
    • 2012 October 31, David M. Halbfinger, "," New York Times (retrieved 31 October 2012):
      At least eight people died, and officials expressed deep concerns that the toll would rise as more searches of homes were carried out.
    With only five minutes until we were meant to leave, the search for the keys started in earnest.
  2. The act of searching in general.
    Search is a hard problem for computers to solve efficiently.
Related terms Translations Verb

search (searches, present participle searching; past and past participle searched)

  1. (transitive) To look in (a place) for something.
    I searched the garden for the keys and found them in the vegetable patch.
  2. (intransitive, followed by "for") To look thoroughly.
    The police are searching for evidence in his flat.
    • 1689 (indicated as 1690), [John Locke], An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. […], London: […] Thomas Basset, […], OCLC 153628242 ↗:
      It sufficeth that they have once with care and fairness sifted the matter as far as they could, and searched into all the particulars.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter I, in The Squire’s Daughter, London: Methuen, OCLC 12026604 ↗; republished New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1919, OCLC 491297620 ↗:
      He tried to persuade Cicely to stay away from the ball-room for a fourth dance. […] But she said she must go back, and when they joined the crowd again […] she found her mother standing up before the seat on which she had sat all the evening searching anxiously for her with her eyes, and her father by her side.
  3. (transitive, now, rare) To look for, seek.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene,
      To search the God of loue, her Nymphes she sent / Throughout the wandring forrest euery where […].
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Ezekiel 34:11 ↗:
      For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 7”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      Anough is left besides to search and know.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To probe or examine (a wound).
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, [;view=fulltext chapter xvj], in Le Morte Darthur, book I:
      Now torne we to the xj kynges that retorned vnto a cyte that hyghte Sorhaute / the whiche cyte was within kynge Vryens / and ther they refresshed hem as wel as they myght / and made leches serche theyr woundys and sorowed gretely for the dethe of her peple
    • 1588, William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, II.3:
      Now to the bottome dost thou search my wound.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.4:
      Thus when they all had sorowed their fill, / They softly gan to search his griesly wownd […].
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 35, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      His wife perceiving him to droope and languish away, entreated him she might leasurely search and neerely view the quality of his disease […].
  5. (obsolete) To examine; to try; to put to the test.
Synonyms Translations Translations

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