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v. searched, search·ing, search·es
v. tr.
1. To move around in, go through, or look through in an effort to find something: searched the room for her missing earring; searched the desk for a pen.
2. To make a careful examination or investigation of; probe: search one's conscience for the right thing to do.
3. To seek data matching a word, phrase, or pattern of characters in: searched the internet for information about ostriches.
4. Law To examine (a person or property) for the purpose of discovering evidence of a crime.
v. intr.
1. To search a place or space in order to find something: searched all afternoon for my wallet.
2. To make a careful examination or investigation: searching for the right words to say.
3. To use a search engine or other software to find any data matching a particular pattern.
4. Law To make a search for evidence.
1. An act of searching.
2. Law The examination of a person or property, as by a law enforcement officer, for the purpose of discovering evidence of a crime.
3. A control mechanism on an audio or video player that rapidly advances or reverses the playing of a recording.
Phrasal Verb:
search out
To seek to find or come to know by examination: sought out the answer in a history book.
search me Slang
Used by a speaker to indicate that he or she does not have an answer to a question just asked.

[Middle English serchen, from Anglo-Norman sercher, variant of Old French cerchier, from Latin circāre, to go around, from Latin circus, circle, from Greek krikos, kirkos; see sker-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

search′a·ble adj.
search′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Originally established in 1998 through an effort led by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, ICHEIC had already made available a searchable database of nearly 59,000 policyholders from 15 countries, most of them compiled through public records.
EPA launched a pilot website that provides the public and industry with searchable, facility-level enforcement and compliance information.
The result is the Construction Waste Management Database Web site that contains a searchable database of almost 2000 construction waste recyclers nationwide.
The new Web Publisher makes publishing large amounts of searchable information on the Internet fast and easy.
Subscribers have access to: five year's worth of searchable archives of the Private Equity Analyst newsletter; a market research center that updates investors with fundraising activity; spotlights on institutions, firms and the companies in which they invest; trend information; and a daily news feed.
The searchable database program soon will be available for download onto personal computers as well.
The expanded Journal is a terrific feature, consisting of a searchable database of current events, illustrated with AP photos.
The site includes a searchable database with information on the size, circumference, height, and location of the nation's 884 biggest trees.
The specs are now searchable! If you're looking for, say, a 250-ton, toggle-clamp injection press with a 5-oz shot and all-electric drive, the search engine will show you all the machine models available in the U.S.
CAD2PDF sits on the customer network and manages both file conversion and updating of searchable indexes.
In the meantime, the Campaign for Equality has set up a searchable database of petition names on its Web site ( so voters can check to see if their signatures were misdirected.
In addition to providing a searchable platform for both buyers and sellers, periodic email updates will be sent to registrants to alert them when potential business partners register or make inquiries matching their criteria.