English

Definition of search verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    search

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//sɜːtʃ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɜːrtʃ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they search
    BrE BrE//sɜːtʃ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɜːrtʃ//
     
    he / she / it searches
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːtʃɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrtʃɪz//
     
    past simple searched
    BrE BrE//sɜːtʃt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɜːrtʃt//
     
    past participle searched
    BrE BrE//sɜːtʃt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɜːrtʃt//
     
    -ing form searching
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːtʃɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrtʃɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to look carefully for something/somebody; to examine a particular place when looking for somebody/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 somebody’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 strip-search
  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. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French cerchier (verb), from late Latin circare ‘go round’, from Latin circus ‘circle’.Extra examples For the rest of the morning he searched aimlessly through the town. He searched in his pocket and found a few coins. I have searched high and low and cannot find them. I searched around for a thick stick. I searched through a drawer for my passport. Police are still searching for the missing child. The area has been thoroughly searched. We searched among the rocks for crabs. We searched the house from top to bottom. You can also search online for a job. actively searching for something to keep the conversation going searching through a drawer Firefighters searched the building for survivors. I found out more about the company by searching online. I was searching this history website for something about Alexander the Great. I’ve searched high and low for those files, but I can’t find them anywhere. It’s a software tool for searching documents and retrieving information. Search the index to find the address of the data file. The customs officers searched through her bag.Idioms (informal) used to emphasize that you do not know the answer to somebody’s question ‘Why didn't she say anything?’ ‘Search me!’ Phrasal Verbssearch out somebody
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: search