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

Under the 2014 ruling, search engines must balance those requests against the public’s right to access a link associated with the searched-for name, taking into account, for instance, whether the person is a public figure. Sam Schechner, WSJ, "Google Nears Win in Europe Over ‘Right to Be Forgotten’," 10 Jan. 2019 According to fashion search engine Lyst, the dress garnered 17,000 searches for ‘yellow Stella McCartney dress' by people from 65 different countries in the week following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's nuptials. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Amal Clooney's Yellow Royal Wedding Dress Is Now Available to Shop," 18 Dec. 2018 This is used by retail brokers such as TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. and internet search engines like Google and Yahoo . Gretchen Morgenson, WSJ, "SEC Ruling Takes Aim at Stock-Exchange Profits," 16 Oct. 2018 Once Facebook went down, internet users went directly to news websites or searched for news of any kind, including entertainment and sports through Google or other search engines to replace their Facebook browsing fix. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Is the podcast bubble bursting?," 24 Sep. 2018 Wyden's announcement said his bill is supported by Consumers Union, search engine operator DuckDuckGo, and four former FTC chief technologists. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Proposed data privacy law could send company execs to prison for 20 years," 2 Nov. 2018 Seven Google employees have reportedly quit their jobs over the lack of accountability and transparency at the search giant over its controversial China search engine effort, codenamed Project Dragonfly. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Google employees quit over controversial China search engine project, report says," 13 Sep. 2018 And shortly after the report was published Wednesday morning, China’s primary search engine Baidu had already taken a hit on the stock market. Madeleine Ngo, Vox, "Why Google’s plan to launch a censored search engine in China is problematic," 1 Aug. 2018 The agency has pressed search engines to more clearly highlight the ads in their search results with brighter colors. Laura Stevens, WSJ, "New Parents Complain Amazon Baby-Registry Ads Are Deceptive," 28 Nov. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of search engine

1984, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about search engine

Share search engine

Statistics for search engine

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for search engine

The first known use of search engine was in 1984

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up search engine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!