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 The Chinese search engine giant is teaming up with Chinese automaker Geely to make electric vehicles. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "Why Biden’s pick for ‘Asia czar’ may unsettle Beijing," 14 Jan. 2021 Digital marketers with experience in social media and search engine optimization are in demand. Chase Difeliciantonio,, "LinkedIn: Bay Area hiring for remote work remains strong," 12 Jan. 2021 Last year, Alphabet’s Wing, a sister unit of search engine Google, was the first company to get U.S. air carrier certification for a single-pilot drone operation. NBC News, "U.S. to allow small drones to fly over people and at night," 29 Dec. 2020 An antitrust lawsuit against Google over its app store would mark a new attack against the search engine giant’s business practices. Mark Gurman,, "U.S. States Weighs New Google Suit Over App Store Fees," 19 Dec. 2020 Despite its apparent product superiority, Bing never won the search engine wars. Popular Science, "Could Apple build a search engine that competes with Google?," 15 Dec. 2020 The suit follows a similar anti-trust action the government launched against search engine giant Google earlier this year. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Federal government and 48 states file antitrust suit seeking to split up Facebook," 9 Dec. 2020 Elsewhere, ad-blocking company Ghostery is adding a layer of privacy to search, launching its own browser and search engine tool in the coming months that promise an ad-free, untracked existence online. Brian Barrett, Wired, "Security News This Week: The Secret Service Is Investigating 700 Cases of Covid Relief Fraud," 21 Nov. 2020 Megan Gray, general counsel of rival search engine DuckDuckGo, said in an interview. Jeanne Whalen, Washington Post, "Europe fined Google nearly $10 billion for antitrust violations, but little has changed," 10 Nov. 2020

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

Time Traveler for search engine

Time Traveler

The first known use of search engine was in 1984

See more words from the same year

Statistics for search engine

Last Updated

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Search engine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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