American English

Definition of search verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they search
    he / she / it searches
    past simple searched
    -ing form searching
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to look carefully for something or someone; to examine a particular place when looking for someone or something search (for something/somebody) She searched in vain for her passport. Police searched for clues in the area. + adv./prep. The customs officers searched through our bags. I've searched high and low for those files. I found these photos while searching among some old papers. search something His house had clearly been searched and the book was missing. search something for something/somebody Police searched the area for clues. Firefighters searched the buildings for survivors. searching the Web for interesting sites
  2. 2[transitive] (especially of the police) to examine someone's clothes, their pockets, etc. in order to find something that they may be hiding search somebody Visitors are regularly searched as they enter the building. search somebody for something The youths were arrested and searched for anything that would incriminate them. see also
  3. 3[intransitive] search (for something) to think carefully about something, especially in order to find the answer to a problem He searched desperately for something to say. The committee has been searching for new ways to tackle youth unemployment. see also soul-searching
  4. Idioms
    search me (informal)
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    used to emphasize that you do not know the answer to someone's question “Why didn't she say anything?” “Search me!”
    Phrasal Verbssearch something/somebodyout
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: search