goo·​gle | \ ˈgü-gəl How to pronounce google (audio) \
variants: or Google
googled or Googled; googling\ ˈgü-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce googling (audio) \ or Googling; googles or Googles

Definition of google

transitive verb

: to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (someone or something) on the World Wide Web

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Other Words from google

googleable \ ˈgü-​gə-​lə-​bəl How to pronounce googleable (audio) \ or Googleable adjective
The Massachusetts trio may not have picked an easily Googleable name … — Leah Greenblatt

Google vs. Googol

The verb google and the noun googol are commonly confused because they have similar pronunciations. Google is the word that is more common to us now, and so it is sometimes mistakenly used as a noun to refer to the number 10100. That number is a googol, so named by Milton Sirotta, the nephew of the American mathematician Edward Kasner, who was working with large numbers like 10100. Google, on the other hand, is the name of a search engine as well as a verb that refers to searching the Internet using the Google search engine. (The search engine’s name was inspired by the number: the founders of Google chose the name to reflect their mission “to organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.”) You can remember that the number is spelled googol by remembering that a googol has lots of o’s.

Two related words, googolplex and googleplex, are also commonly confused. A googolplex is the number 1 followed by a googol of zeros; the Googleplex is the Mountain View, California headquarters of Google.

Examples of google in a Sentence

Then where are they going, if not to Faulkner and Achebe and Naipaul?  … To the movies; to television (hours and hours); to Googling obsessively (hours and hours); to blogging and emailing and text messaging … — Cynthia Ozick, Harper's, April 2007 The Sports Gal and I delayed dinner plans so I could analyze the replays like a police chief. Eventually she realized we weren't leaving the house, so she made herself a sandwich and headed upstairs to Google divorce lawyers. — Bill Simmons, ESPN, 6 Dec. 2004 Have you ever googled yourself, maybe late at night, when nobody else was around? It's OK, you can admit it—everybody does it. — Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News, 17 Apr. 2004
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Recent Examples on the Web After a meeting with her tutoring supervisor, IU senior Olivia Totten went to google her next student. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "Ernie Thompson keeps promise to Bill Mallory, gets diploma from IU at age 50," 17 May 2020 Later, newcomer Nick Jonas decided to google the answer. Megan Stein, Country Living, "‘The Voice’ Fans Fact-Checked Kelly Clarkson After Her Argument With Blake Shelton," 17 Mar. 2020 If a Google user has a question about Google, well, Google wants them to google it. Joanne Mcneil, Harper's magazine, "Search and Destroy," 20 Jan. 2020 Modify quizzes and tests so students can’ just google the answers. Mj Slaby, Indianapolis Star, "'Just the beginning': Teachers, parents reflect on eLearning as schools remain closed," 20 Mar. 2020 No doubt when Jackson left us last week, the younger generation who never really understood his historical place in the sports world googled his name and undoubtedly read his Wikipedia bio. Josh Katzenstein,, "Delvin Breaux says he's cleared to return to all activities: Instagram," 17 Jan. 2018 Photo: Bette Langer In desperation one night, Ms. Langer googled baby coaches, found a New York company called Mommywise and hired sleep coach Devon Clement to come to her New Rochelle, N.Y., home. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "Exhausted New Parents Turn to Sleep Coaches for Their Babies," 28 Aug. 2018 The newspaper said the girl's father googled the name and found a story about a former British journalist who had spent two years in jail in China — at the same Qingpu prison. NBC News, "British retailer Tesco halts work at Chinese factory over prison labor claim," 22 Dec. 2019 Yes, farmers did use some of their mobile data to check crop prices, just as women googled birth control options, and kids learned some words of English online. Payal Arora, Quartz, "The biggest myths about the next billion internet users," 5 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'google.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of google

2000, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for google

Google, trademark for a search engine

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Time Traveler for google

Time Traveler

The first known use of google was in 2000

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Statistics for google

Cite this Entry

“Google.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for google


goo·​gle | \ ˈgü-gəl \
googled; googling

Kids Definition of google

: to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the Internet

More from Merriam-Webster on google

Nglish: Translation of google for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of google for Arabic Speakers

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