Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “search”

See all translations

search

verb uk   /sɜːtʃ/ us    /sɝːtʃ/
B1 [I or T] to look somewhere carefully in order to find something: The police searched the woods for the missing boy. She searched his face for some sign of forgiveness, but it remained expressionless. He searched (in/through) his pockets for some change. I've searched high and low (= everywhere), but I can't find my birth certificate. The detectives searched the house from top to bottom (= all over it), but they found no sign of the stolen goods. figurative She searched her mind/memory for the man's name, but she couldn't remember it. figurative People who are searching after inner peace sometimes turn to religion.C1 [I] to try to find the answer to a problem: Philosophers have searched for millennia but they haven't found the meaning of life.B2 [T] A police officer who searches you or your possessions looks for something you might be hiding: The men were searched for drugs and then released.B1 [I or T] to look for information on a computer, the internet, etc.: I searched the internet for the best deal.
More examples
Idioms
Phrasal verbs

search

noun uk   /sɜːtʃ/ us    /sɝːtʃ/
B1 [C] an attempt to find someone or something: After a long search, they eventually found the missing papers. The police carried out/conducted/made a thorough/exhaustive search of the premises, but they failed to find any drugs.B2 [S] an attempt to find an answer to a problem: the search for happinessB1 [C] an attempt to find information on a computer, on the internet, etc.: I did a search for yoga clubs in my area.in search of sth trying to find something: She was shot by a sniper when she went out in search of firewood.
More examples
(Definition of search from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of search?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “search” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More