search engine


Definition of search engine

: computer software used to search data (such 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

Examples of search engine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As noted by Karen Hao of the MIT Technology Review, a computer model built by Chinese search engine and commerce firm Baidu now leads all other models on a benchmark of general English-sentence comprehension known as GLUE. John Keefe, Quartz, "Teaching a computer Chinese made it excellent at English," 27 Dec. 2019 Two-thirds of South Korean teenagers go online to find out what is happening in the world, and of them, 97% turn to Naver, a portal and search engine. The Economist, "Teenagers are rewriting the rules of the news," 18 Dec. 2019 The internet balloons, undersea cables, and dominant search engines and online stores of companies like Alphabet and Amazon prompt fears that these companies can push around not only their customers but also governments. Tom Simonite, Wired, "When Tech Giants Blanket the World," 12 Dec. 2019 ProPublica reported that Intuit had even hidden its free tax-filing program, offered through a partnership with the IRS, from search engines such as Google. Justin Elliott, ProPublica, "TurboTax Tricked Customers Into Paying to File Taxes. Now Several States Are Investigating It.," 19 Dec. 2019 Google is a billion dollar search engine that has the answers to almost anything. Briana Rice,, "This is Ohio's most googled 'Should I' question," 13 Dec. 2019 Google The two men who created a search engine in a suburban basement and turned it into one of the world’s largest and most influential companies are handing over the reins. Amrita Khalid, Quartz, "Google outgrew Larry Page and Sergey Brin years ago," 3 Dec. 2019 Fired Google employees protested the company’s contract with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a project to create a custom search engine to comply with Chinese censorship, and developing drone technology for the Pentagon. Mallory Moench,, "Fired Google employees active in labor organizing to file NLRB complaint," 3 Dec. 2019 Ecosia, a search engine founded in 2009, works with about 20 tree-planting organizations around the world in hopes of planting a billion trees by 2020. Mae Anderson,, "The Ecosia search engine is seeing downloads surge as the Amazon rainforest burns," 27 Sep. 2019

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

1984, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for search engine

Time Traveler

The first known use of search engine was in 1984

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Search engine.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for search engine

search engine


English Language Learners Definition of search engine

: a computer program that is used to look for information on the Internet

search engine


Kids Definition of search engine

: computer software used to search data (as text or a database) for requested information

More from Merriam-Webster on search engine

Spanish Central: Translation of search engine Encyclopedia article about search engine

Comments on search engine

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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