\ ˈsēk How to pronounce seek (audio) \
sought\ ˈsȯt How to pronounce seek (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 infinitive governments … 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)

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Investigators did not seek a search warrant for Woods' blood samples, which could be screened for drugs and alcohol. Stefanie Dazio, Chron, "Detectives find cause of Tiger Woods crash but won't reveal details," 31 Mar. 2021 Bolden said some families in the district may seek a remote option for their children next school year for various reasons. Ed Wittenberg, cleveland, "Solon Schools’ goal for next year: all students in person, five days a week," 29 Mar. 2021 The winner will replace Carolyn Stanford Taylor, who took over as state superintendent in 2019 but declined to seek a full term. Star Tribune, "WI--Wisconsin Schools Superintendent," 26 Mar. 2021 If the union vote falls short, Givan said the union may seek to file unfair labor practice claims against Amazon, including around a mailbox that has popped up outside the facility. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "Milestone Amazon union vote nears end, but the battle may just be beginning," 26 Mar. 2021 Healey is largely viewed as a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2022, while Baker, a Republican, must decide whether to seek an unprecedented third consecutive term in office., "Maura Healey attacks Charlie Baker for contracts with McKinsey in wake of opioid settlement: ‘It’s outrageous’," 25 Mar. 2021 Rita Moore and Scott Bailey are the two incumbents who declined to seek a second term. oregonlive, "8 candidates will run for 3 seats on the Portland school board in May," 20 Mar. 2021 But the out-of-pocket donation represents the surest sign yet of his intention to seek a second term. Rick Pearson,, "Gov. J.B. Pritzker gives his campaign fund $35 million in surest sign yet of reelection bid," 20 Mar. 2021 Anyone experiencing symptoms such as throat swelling, itchiness, hives or trouble breathing after leaving the vaccination site should seek emergency medical care immediately, experts said. Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times, "Why are side effects worse after a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine?," 19 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about seek

Time Traveler for seek

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for seek

Last Updated

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Seek.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for seek



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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on seek

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

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

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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