• IPA: /siːk/, sēk

seek (seeks, present participle seeking; past and past participle sought)

  1. (ambitransitive) To try to find; to look for; to search for.
    I seek wisdom.
  2. (transitive) To ask for; to solicit; to beseech.
    I seek forgiveness through prayer.
    • Bible, Gospel of Luke xi. 16
      Others, tempting him, sought of him a sign.
    • 1960, Lobsang Rampa, The Rampa Story:
      “My, my! It is indeed a long way yet, look you!” said the pleasant woman of whom I sought directions.
  3. (transitive) To try to acquire or gain; to strive after; to aim at.
    I sought my fortune on the goldfields.
    • 1880, George Q. Cannon, How the Gospel is Preached By the Elders, etc.:
      But persecution sought the lives of men of this character.
    • 1886, Constantine Popoff, translation of Leo Tolstoy's What I Believe:
      I can no longer seek fame or glory, nor can I help trying to get rid of my riches, which separate me from my fellow-creatures.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314 ↗, page 0045 ↗:
      Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. […] She put back a truant curl from her forehead where it had sought egress to the world, and looked him full in the face now, drawing a deep breath which caused the round of her bosom to lift the lace at her throat.
  4. (intransitive, obsolete) To go, move, travel (in a given direction).
    • a. 1472, Thomas Malory, “(please specify the chapter)”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book V, [London: […] by William Caxton], published 31 July 1485, OCLC 71490786 ↗; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur […], London: Published by David Nutt, […], 1889, OCLC 890162034 ↗:
      Ryght so he sought […] towarde Sandewyche where he founde before hym many galyard knyghtes
  5. (transitive) To try to reach or come to; to go to; to resort to.
    When the alarm went off I sought the exit in a panic.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Amos 5:5 ↗:
      Seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
    • 1726 (tr.) ↗, Alexander Pope, Homer's Odyssey, Book II, line 33
      Since great Ulysses sought the Phrygian plains
  6. (intransitive) To attempt, endeavour, try
    Our company does not seek to limit its employees from using the internet or engaging in social networking.
  7. (intransitive, computing) To navigate through a stream.
    Synonyms: scrub
    • 2009, Jit Ghosh, ‎Rob Cameron, Silverlight 2 Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (page 541)
      Most of the changes made to this control are to accommodate the various constraints that playback of streaming media may impose in broadcast streams, such as the inability to seek through the media.
Synonyms Related terms Translations Noun

seek (plural seeks)

  1. (computing) The operation of navigating through a stream.
    • 2012, Aidong Zhang, ‎Avi Silberschatz, ‎Sharad Mehrotra, Continuous Media Databases (page 120)
      The number of seeks to retrieve a shot […] depends on the location of those frames on physical blocks.

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