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.
search me Slang
Used by a speaker to indicate that he or she 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 ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.