v. searched, search·ing, search·es
1. To move around in, go through, or look through in an effort to find something: searched the room for her missing earring; searched the desk for a pen.
2. To make a careful examination or investigation of; probe: search one's conscience for the right thing to do.
3. To seek data matching a word, phrase, or pattern of characters in: searched the internet for information about ostriches.
4. Law To examine (a person or property) for the purpose of discovering evidence of a crime.
1. To search a place or space in order to find something: searched all afternoon for my wallet.
2. To make a careful examination or investigation: searching for the right words to say.
3. To use a search engine or other software to find any data matching a particular pattern.
4. Law To make a search for evidence.
1. An act of searching.
2. Law The examination of a person or property, as by a law enforcement officer, for the purpose of discovering evidence of a crime.
3. A control mechanism on an audio or video player that rapidly advances or reverses the playing of a recording.
To seek to find or come to know by examination: sought out the answer in a history book.
Used to indicate that one does not have an answer to a question just asked.
[Middle English serchen, from Anglo-Norman sercher, variant of Old French cerchier, from Latin circāre, to go around, from Latin circus, circle, from Greek krikos, kirkos; see sker-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.