re·​search | \ ri-ˈsərch How to pronounce research (audio) , ˈrē-ˌsərch How to pronounce research (audio) \

Essential Meaning of research

1 : careful study that is done to find and report new knowledge about something cancer/AIDS/drug research medical/scientific/scholarly research See More ExamplesShe conducts research into/on the causes of Alzheimer's disease. Recent research shows/indicates that the disease is caused in part by bad nutrition. The study is an important piece of research. (formal + old-fashioned) We read about Sigmund Freud's researches into the human psyche.Hide
2 : the activity of getting information about a subject He did a lot of research before buying his car.

Full Definition of research

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : careful or diligent search
2 : studious inquiry or examination especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws
3 : the collecting of information about a particular subject


researched; researching; researches

Definition of research (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to search or investigate exhaustively research a problem
2 : to do research for research a book

intransitive verb

: to engage in research

Other Words from research


researchable \ ri-​ˈsər-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce research (audio) , ˈrē-​ˌsər-​ \ adjective
researcher noun

Examples of research in a Sentence

Noun She conducts research into the causes of Alzheimer's disease. Recent research shows that the disease is caused in part by bad nutrition. The study is an important piece of research. He did a lot of research before buying his car. Verb He spent the summer researching his dissertation. Before going out to eat, she researched area restaurants. The reporter made hundreds of telephone calls while researching the story.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This anecdotal evidence confirms recent research published in Axios revealing that hospitals mark up their prices by an average of seven times their cost of care. Fortune, 14 Jan. 2022 But these are only estimates emerging from academic research and referenced in news coverage — not the kind of population-level data that exists for other conditions, and that people expect to be readily available for Long Covid. Elizabeth Yuko, Rolling Stone, 14 Jan. 2022 UConn’s Board of Trustees will meet Jan. 26 to appoint Radenka Maric, the school’s vice president for research, innovation and entrepreneurship, as the new interim president, the school said. Alex Putterman,, 14 Jan. 2022 But these outsiders’ research has repeatedly been met with ridicule, their projects left unfunded and their hypotheses unexplored. Megan Molteni, STAT, 14 Jan. 2022 The FAUCI Act, or the Fairness and Accountability in Underwriting Chinese Institutions Act, would ban U.S. funding for gain-of-function research in China. Jon Brown, Fox News, 14 Jan. 2022 The research, published in the journal Science on Thursday, was led by a team from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Marina Pitofsky, USA TODAY, 14 Jan. 2022 The lessons learned from this research could also be applied to anemia patients on Earth, especially those who experience it after illness and prolonged bed rest. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 14 Jan. 2022 The writings are a marvel of storytelling as Gurza’s exhaustive research illuminates the tales of the places, personalities and histories behind the songs. Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times, 14 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb How to avoid it: Before your trip, set spending limits and research the comparative costs of restaurants or attractions. Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2022 Although the public has some access to the burial mounds, the History Connection wants to offer more access, tours and education, and to preserve and research the site. cleveland, 23 Dec. 2021 Data on child vaccination, from both the Pfizer study and research with older children, suggest the chief risk is a microscopically small chance of heart inflammation, which is usually temporary and not life-threatening. Ryan Cooper, The Week, 27 Oct. 2021 This book encourages readers to stop and research the references Griffin highlights. Arielle Gray, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 Oct. 2021 The package, which still needs approval from the House, includes about $80 billion in programs to upgrade the nation’s power grid, create charging stations for electric vehicles and research new clean energy technologies. New York Times, 13 Aug. 2021 Short answer, pay down high cost credit card debt, cut other spending and expenses now, research your options. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 11 Aug. 2021 Google is also testing a home screening app that allows users to upload photos and research their own skin conditions. Jon Lapook, CBS News, 4 Aug. 2021 Take the time to try different styles, build a network of resources (lawyers, collections agencies, etc.) and research appropriate topics. Katherine Jackson, Forbes, 21 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'research.' 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 research


1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1588, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for research


Middle French recerche, from recercher to go about seeking, from Old French recerchier, from re- + cerchier, sercher to search — more at search

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Time Traveler for research

Time Traveler

The first known use of research was in 1577

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Dictionary Entries Near research



research and development

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Statistics for research

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Research.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for research


re·​search | \ ri-ˈsərch How to pronounce research (audio) , ˈrē-ˌsərch \

Kids Definition of research

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: careful study and investigation for the purpose of discovering and explaining new knowledge

Other Words from research

researcher noun


researched; researching

Kids Definition of research (Entry 2 of 2)

: to search or investigate thoroughly Doctors researched the disease.

More from Merriam-Webster on research

Nglish: Translation of research for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of research for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about research


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