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

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

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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 The new study matches up with previous research documenting the increasing proportion of pollution that comes from wildfire smoke, said Dan Jaffe, a wildfire pollution expert at the University of Washington. Matthew Brown, Anchorage Daily News, "Study: Wildfires produced up to half of health-damaging air pollution in Western states," 12 Jan. 2021 The research effort is being led by the Biggs Institute, with funding from the Alzheimer’s Association and guidance from the World Health Organization. Lauren Caruba,, "Will COVID-19 have long-term effects on the brain? San Antonio researchers are trying to find out.," 11 Jan. 2021 Unlike private investments, which focus on commercialization and short-term financial gains among shareholders, public investments fund research that may not have immediate economic returns but stands to benefit society in the long run. Brian Kateman, Wired, "How to Get More Plant-Based Meat Onto Plates in 2021," 11 Jan. 2021 Despite devastation in much of the economy, venture capital in San Francisco set an annual record of $27.2 billion last year, according to research firm PitchBook, a sign of resiliency for the tech sector. Roland Li,, "S.F. office market hits worst slump in decades as coronavirus pandemic rages on," 11 Jan. 2021 The Boston Globe’s weekly Ocean State Innovators column features a Q&A with Rhode Island innovators who are starting new businesses and nonprofits, conducting groundbreaking research, and reshaping the state’s economy. Globe Staff,, "Ram Head Sports aims to protect your players," 11 Jan. 2021 Cancer research tools represent less than 1 percent of Bruker’s revenue. Members Of The Oncology Think Tank, Scientific American, "We Must Find Ways to Detect Cancer Much Earlier," 8 Jan. 2021 Glass has special, wild properties that make it of ongoing interest to scientists as well as the general public, meaning research into glass behavior is still making pretty big strides forward. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Discover a New State of Matter: Liquid Glass," 6 Jan. 2021 More research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of bathtime, but that shouldn’t stop you from reaping the rewards right now. Rachel Feltman, Popular Science, "To take the most relaxing bath ever, add some healthy tips," 3 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To experts who research the emotional well-being of families, opportunity and a sense of optimism are the best gifts a parent can give this holiday season. Heather Greenwood Davis, Travel, "How to make the most of your family holiday this year," 21 Dec. 2020 Northeast Ohio residents should also be taking time at the end of the year to research possible deductions involving things like IRAs and health savings accounts and to examine opportunities for higher education and saver’s tax credits. cleveland, "Area finance expert offers tips for the end of a year like no other," 20 Dec. 2020 Others see a case that seems impossible to separate from race, given a long history of bias in policing and research on the way race and class affect people’s perceptions. Washington Post, "Body cam video in Ahmaud Arbery shooting raises familiar concerns about unequal police treatment," 18 Dec. 2020 But none of this would be possible without conservation: the complex technical work to preserve, restore and research the 155 million objects in the Smithsonian collections. Lonnie G. Bunch Iii, Smithsonian Magazine, "Secretary Lonnie Bunch on the Invisible Work of the Smithsonian’s Conservators," 18 Nov. 2020 The Fool responds: Financial companies such as banks and brokerages often have analysts who research companies and report on their potential as investments. Dallas News, "Motley Fool: Veeva Systems is a pricey stock that’s worth considering," 15 Nov. 2020 Before booking a longer stay, customers should be sure to research and compare different properties to find the best one that suits their needs. Rachel King, Fortune, "What you should consider before working remotely from a vacation destination," 14 Nov. 2020 Teachers, students and parents at the academy joined with others in Huntsville to research and document the history and culture of these Black residents of Huntsville. Lee Roop |, al, "Alabama city celebrates its 150-year-old Black cemetery," 12 Nov. 2020 The Minneapolis school board on Oct. 13 approved a resolution to establish an advisory committee to research and provide recommendations on any district facilities that should be renamed. Mara Klecker, Star Tribune, "School board explores renaming Henry Sibley High in Mendota Heights," 3 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for research

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Research.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for research


How to pronounce research (audio) How to pronounce research (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of research

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: careful study that is done to find and report new knowledge about something
: the activity of getting information about a subject



English Language Learners Definition of research (Entry 2 of 2)

: to study (something) carefully
: to collect information about or for (something)

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Comments on research

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