\ 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

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.

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 Others are seeking the same kind of supernatural protection Martins once found in Afro-Brazilian syncretism. Alex Cuadros, Harper's magazine, "“My Gang Is Jesus”," 20 Jan. 2020 Protesters are seeking an end to Iraq’s sectarian political system, alongside early elections and the stepping aside of its ruling elite., "News of the Day From Around the World," 19 Jan. 2020 The Bruins are seeking their first LIT crown since winning back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Ballard basketball wins Round One against Male, advances to LIT championship game," 18 Jan. 2020 Democrats are seeking to introduce new witnesses and documents to make their case. Natalie Andrews, WSJ, "Democrats Outline Case for Removing Trump," 18 Jan. 2020 Royal Caribbean is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit over the death of 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand, who fell from an 11-story window aboard one of its ships in July. Audrey Mcnamara, CBS News, "Royal Caribbean says video shows grandfather knew window was open before dropping toddler," 17 Jan. 2020 Police are seeking the public's help in solving the fatal shooting of a Phoenix man last month. Christopher Roth, azcentral, "Three sought in unsolved shooting death of man in Phoenix," 17 Jan. 2020 Apple is clearly seeking to explore social issues with some of its programming, a needle that's often tough to thread. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Little America' brings a warm look at immigrant stories to Apple TV+," 16 Jan. 2020 Across the country, as major utilities switch from coal to natural gas, environmentalists are seeking greater use of wind and solar while demanding a halt to new gas plants. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Tiny Michigan nonprofit is taking on DTE — and it could have huge impact on the company," 16 Jan. 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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Learn More about seek

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

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Seek.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 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.

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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

Comments on seek

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


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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