Definition of “search” - English Dictionary

“search” in British English

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searchverb

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.

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Idiom(s)

Phrasal verb(s)

searchnoun

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 happiness

B1 [ 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.

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

“search” in American English

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searchverb [ I/T ]

us /sɜrtʃ/

to look somewhere carefully in order to find something:

[ T ] Dogs were brought in to search the area for survivors.
[ I ] Teens are often searching for their identity.

searchnoun [ C/U ]

us /sɜrtʃ/

the act or process of looking carefully in order to find something:

[ C ] After a long search, they finally found the lost child.
[ U ] It’s a book about the search for love.

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

“search” in Business English

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searchverb

uk /sɜːtʃ/ us

[ I or T ] to look somewhere carefully in order to find something or someone:

search for sth/sb For the past six months, she has been unsuccessfully searching for a job.
They are still searching for a new chief executive.
search sth for sth We will search the market for the cheapest deal for you.
search among sth We have begun searching actively among many potential suppliers in order to identify the best product at the best price.
search through sth The regulators must be able to search through detailed records.

[ I or T ] IT, INTERNET to look for information on a computer or on the internet:

search a database/the Web
search sth for sth She searched the Internet for information about the loans.
search (sth) by sth The database of executive branch workers can be searched by an employee's name.
search through sth The new file system will allow users to search through all their files at one time.
search on a word/phrase Search on the word "retrospective" and then filter the results.

[ T ] to examine a place or a person carefully in order to find something or someone:

The offices of the credit rating agency were searched by police.

Phrasal verb(s)

searchnoun [ C ]

uk /sɜːtʃ/ us

an attempt to find someone or something:

search for sb/sth He will lead the high-profile search for a new chief executive officer.
a job search

IT, INTERNET the action of looking for information on a computer or on the internet:

an internet search
a search service/tool
search option/result/term The company makes nearly all of its profit from ads that appear alongside its search results.
search for sth a search for all restaurants in the area
run a search on sb/sth I ran a search on him to see if I could find out any more.

a careful examination of a place or a person in order to find something or someone:

The Serious Fraud Office raid included a search of the premises of the Jersey investment group.
conduct a search

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