search engine noun
: a computer program that is used to look for information on the Internet
: computer software used to search data (as text or a database) for specified information; also : a site on the World Wide Web that uses such software to locate key words in other sites
First Known Use of SEARCH ENGINE
search engine noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Tool for finding information, especially on the Internet or World Wide Web. Search engines are essentially massive databases that cover wide swaths of the Internet. Most consist of three parts: at least one program, called a spider, crawler, or bot, which crawls through the Internet gathering information; a database, which stores the gathered information; and a search tool, with which users search through the database by typing in keywords describing the information desired (usually at a Web site dedicated to the search engine). Increasingly, metasearch engines, which search a subset (usually 10 or so) of the huge number of search engines and then compile and index the results, are being used.
Learn More About SEARCH ENGINE
Seen & Heard
What made you want to look up search engine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).