Meaning of SEARCH in English


I. ˈsərch, ˈsə̄ch, səich verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

Etymology: Middle English cerchen, serchen, from Middle French cerchier to travel through, traverse, survey, search, from Late Latin circare to travel through, traverse, from Latin circum round about — more at circum-

transitive verb

1. : to look into or over carefully or thoroughly in an effort to find something: as

a. : to go about or traverse in careful quest

searched the northerly slope of the hill … his eyes scanning every foot of the ground — O.E.Rölvaag

searching the woods for the lost child

b. : to look into with thorough scrutiny and rigorous objective examination

search me, O God, and know my heart — Ps. 139:23 (Authorized Version)

searching my conscience while I was compiling these criticisms of others — Elmer Davis

c. : to look through or explore thoroughly especially by checking on possible places of concealment or investigating circumstances possibly leading to something being overlooked

searching the apartment building for the suspect

his hand searching his pocket for a match — William Faulkner

— often used with through

searched through her handbag for a dime

d. : to peruse thoroughly and usually with a particular objective : subject to a careful check

search the records of the case

searching those works for a clue to their authorship

let him search the scriptures for consolation

especially : to examine a public record or register for information about

searching titles in the courthouse

e. : to examine (a person) thoroughly to check on whatever articles are carried or concealed

the police searched the suspect

f. : to look at fixedly in order to or as if in order to discover true intention, meaning, nature

searched him with a glance — George Meredith

2. : to uncover, find, or come to know by diligent persevering inquiry or scrutiny

as if to search and value every element in the conflict — Thomas De Quincey

— usually used with out

the broad principle of toleration … searches out and lays bare every insincerity — V.L.Parrington

3. : to probe or explore with a surgical instrument

doctors searching the wound


a. : to play upon or surge against or over a particular area as though looking for a weak, vulnerable, or vital point : pierce or penetrate at an unprotected point

waves search the bases of the cliffs

b. : to distribute (gunnery fire) over an area ; specifically : to distribute (fire) by changes in elevation in gunnery with automatic weapons — compare traverse

intransitive verb

1. : to look or inquire diligently and carefully — usually used with for

searched long for the missing papers

2. : to examine, investigate, or explore usually with challenging or rejecting of a superficial or popularly accepted impression

I am a student … and search into all matters — Edna S.V. Millay

Synonyms: see seek

- search me

II. noun

( -es )

Etymology: Middle English serche, from Middle French cerche, from Old French, from cerchier


a. : an act or the action of searching : an endeavor to find, ascertain, recover, or bring into view

a prolonged search for a lost will

b. : pursuit with a view to finding

went south in search of health

c. : a critical scrutiny or survey (as of a ship's cargo or baggage)

a customs search

especially : an act of boarding and inspecting a vessel on the high seas in exercise of right of search

d. obsolete : an examination of conscience

e. obsolete : research , investigation

2. : a person or party that searches

3. : power or range of searching and especially of penetrating ; also : a penetrating effect

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.