Meaning of search

search

Pronunciation: (sûrch), [key]
— v.t.
  1. to go or look through (a place, area, etc.) carefully in order to find something missing or lost: They searched the woods for the missing child. I searched the desk for the letter.
  2. to look at or examine (a person, object, etc.) carefully in order to find something concealed: He searched the vase for signs of a crack. The police searched the suspect for weapons.
  3. to explore or examine in order to discover: They searched the hills for gold.
  4. to look at, read, or examine (a record, writing, collection, repository, etc.) for information: to search a property title; He searched the courthouse for a record of the deed to the land.
  5. to look at or beneath the superficial aspects of to discover a motive, reaction, feeling, basic truth, etc.: He searched her face for a clue to her true feelings.
  6. to look into, question, or scrutinize: She searched her conscience.
  7. (of natural elements) to pierce or penetrate: The sunlight searched the room's dark corners.
  8. to uncover or find by examination or exploration (often fol. by out): to search out all the facts.
  9. to fire artillery over (an area) with successive changes in gun elevation.
  10. to examine (one or more files, as databases or texts) electronically, to locate specified items.
—v.i.
  1. to inquire, investigate, examine, or seek; conduct an examination or investigation.
  2. I don't know: Why has it taken so long to reach a decision? Search me.
—n.
  1. an act or instance of searching; careful examination or investigation.
  2. the practice, on the part of naval officers of a belligerent nation, of boarding and examining a suspected neutral vessel at sea in order to ascertain its true nationality and determine if it is carrying contraband: the right of visit and search.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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