Meaning of “seek” in the English Dictionary

"seek" in British English

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uk /siːk/ us /siːk/ sought, sought formal

seek verb (SEARCH)

B2 [ T ] to try to find or get something, especially something that is not a physical object:

"Are you actively seeking jobs?" she asked.
Hundreds of dissidents are seeking refuge/asylum in the US embassy.

B2 [ T ] to ask for advice, help, approval, permission, etc.:

Legal advice should be sought before you take any further action.

More examples

  • I was expelled from school and forced to seek work.
  • You should seek compensation.
  • If symptoms persist seek medical attention .
  • Contributions are being sought for the disaster fund.
  • He had actively sought a pardon from the president.

seek verb (TRY)

C2 [ I + to infinitive ] to try or attempt:

They sought to reassure the public.

More examples

  • The country's president is seeking to mend relations with the United States.
  • Six journalists sought to challenge in court the legality of the ban on broadcasting.
  • They are seeking to change the rules.
  • People seeking to end the crisis must have our full support.
  • I find it abhorrent that people should seek to gain financially from this tragic situation.
suffix uk / -siː.kɪŋ/ us / -siː.kɪŋ/

A lot of bad behaviour is attention-seeking on the part of mixed-up kids.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “seek” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"seek" in American English

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us /sik/ past tense and past participle sought /sɔt/

seek verb (SEARCH)

[ T ] to search for something or try to find or obtain something:

She is actively seeking work.
The government is seeking ways to reduce the cost of health care.

[ T ] If you seek advice/approval/help/permission, you ask for it:

They suggested she seek advice from the legal department.

seek verb (TRY)

[ + to infinitive ] to try or attempt:

They sought to reassure people that their homes would be safe from the flood.

(Definition of “seek” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"seek" in Business English

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seekverb [ T ]

uk /siːk/ us sought, sought formal

to try to find or get something:

seek to do sth The investment objective of the fund is to seek to achieve long-term growth.
The unemployment rate among disabled people seeking work stands at 19%.

(Definition of “seek” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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