\ ˈsēk How to pronounce seek (audio) \
sought\ ˈsȯt How to pronounce sought (audio) \; seeking

Definition of seek

transitive verb

1 : to resort to : go to
2a : to go in search of : look for
b : to try to discover
3 : to ask for : request seeks advice
4 : to try to acquire or gain : aim at seek fame
5 : to make an attempt : try used with to and an infinitivegovernments … seek to keep the bulk of their people contented— D. M. Potter

intransitive verb

1 : to make a search or inquiry
2a : to be sought
b : to be lacking in critical judgment … they were sadly to seekThe Times Literary Supplement (London)

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Other Words from seek

seeker noun

Examples of seek in a Sentence

The office is seeking a salesperson. The prince is seeking a wife. Snakes seek the sun to warm their bodies. You should visit your doctor and seek his advice. You should seek medical help immediately if you experience any chest pain or shortness of breath. The church is seeking donations. He sought revenge for his son's murder. During the war, she sought asylum in Spain. They sought refuge in Canada. The company is seeking new ways to improve service.
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Recent Examples on the Web Both District 3 seats were up for grabs because incumbents Gary Barczak and Michael May did not seek re-election. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Danna Kuehn and Suzzette Grisham win District 3 seats on the West Allis Common Council," 13 Apr. 2020 The Alabama attorney general's office did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment by The Associated Press. CBS News, "Judge rules Alabama can't prohibit abortion during coronavirus crisis," 12 Apr. 2020 Steven Sauerbeck, the drive-in's owner, did not immediately reply to phone calls seeking comment. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "Oldham County health director urges churches not to hold Easter services at drive-in," 10 Apr. 2020 Allen coach Terry Gambill did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "Five-time state champion Allen, which has a history of transfer quarterbacks, adds two transfers at the position," 10 Apr. 2020 Attorneys for both men did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment. [ All of The Enquirer's coverage of the new coronavirus is being provided for free to our readers. Kevin Grasha,, "Feds: In a pandemic, 'known drug trafficker' from College Hill acquired 33 kilos of cocaine," 9 Apr. 2020 The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits is expected to remain near record highs. Charles Riley, CNN, "What happens if OPEC and Russia don't agree to cut production?," 9 Apr. 2020 Meanwhile, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits swelled to 6.6 million last week, surging for the third consecutive week as strict measures to contain the novel coronavirus paralyzed the nation's economy. Fox News, "'Bar Rescue' host Jon Taffer: Things aren't going to be the same for restaurants after coronavirus," 9 Apr. 2020 The Treasury Department did not respond to a message seeking comment. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Should Congress follow Europe's lead on stimulus to help U.S. workers and businesses?," 8 Apr. 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for seek

Middle English seken, from Old English sēcan; akin to Old High German suohhen to seek, Latin sagus prophetic, Greek hēgeisthai to lead

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Time Traveler for seek

Time Traveler

The first known use of seek was before the 12th century

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Statistics for seek

Last Updated

16 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Seek.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for seek


How to pronounce seek (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of seek

somewhat formal
: to search for (someone or something) : to try to find (someone or something)
: to ask for (help, advice, etc.)
: to try to get or achieve (something)


\ ˈsēk How to pronounce seek (audio) \
sought\ ˈsȯt \; seeking

Kids Definition of seek

1 : to try to find seek help … foxes called to each other, seeking again their lifelong mates.— Jean Craighead George, My Side of the Mountain
2 : to try to win or get He sought revenge.
3 : to make an attempt Doctors are seeking to find a cure.

Choose the Right Synonym for seek

seek, search, and hunt mean to look for something. seek may be used in looking for either material or mental things. She's always seeking new friends. I seek the truth. search is used when looking for something in a very careful, thorough way. We searched all over the house for the letter. hunt is used for a long pursuit. I hunted all day for the right present.

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More from Merriam-Webster on seek

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seek

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seek

Spanish Central: Translation of seek

Nglish: Translation of seek for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seek for Arabic Speakers

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