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

This makes them similar not only to search engines and ISPs but also to traditional media and telecommunications companies. Tarleton Gillespie, WIRED, "How Social Networks Set the Limits of What We Can Say Online," 26 June 2018 And isn’t Google’s search engine still vulnerable to the next great innovation, like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa? Robert Levine,, "Google is hugely powerful. Is antitrust law up to the job?," 13 June 2018 Write to Tripp Mickle at Corrections & Amplifications John Giannandrea ran Google’s search engine and led efforts to incorporate AI into products. Tripp Mickle, WSJ, "Apple Hires Artificial-Intelligence Executive From Rival Google," 3 Apr. 2018 The homepage of the search engine transformed into an orange box as Penfield's face formed the first 'O' in the word Google. Wandera Hussein, Billboard, "Google Doodle Celebrates Neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield's 127th Birthday," 26 Jan. 2018 Google has sort of remained the same as a search engine. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: New York Times technology columnist Farhad Manjoo onstage for Recode Decode," 2 May 2018 And last year, the search engine company Baidu scrapped its internet health care service, which allowed patients to book doctors appointments through an app, in a bid to focus solely on A.I. But some of the more recent initiatives have made inroads. Sui-lee Wee And Paul Mozur, New York Times, "Amazon Wants to Disrupt Health Care in America. In China, Tech Giants Already Have.," 31 Jan. 2018 Now, the search engine giant is here to help you with a side effect of the July 4th holiday: Traffic. Southern Living, "Google Knows the Best Time to Beat Traffic This Fourth of July," 3 July 2018 China’s largest search engine has been developing self-driving software for five years. Fortune, "Who’s Winning the Self-Driving Car Race?," 31 May 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

7 Nov 2018

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).


a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!