\ 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 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

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Against the prospect of a likely indictment on corruption charges, Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term. Fox News, "Trump calls for resignations at NY Times over Kavanaugh story; Netanyahu's challenge in repeat election," 17 Sep. 2019 One of the measures sought to end U.S. assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war against Houthi rebels in Yemen, citing the humanitarian disaster caused by the conflict. Josh Wingrove,, "Trump's Suggestion of Iran Strike Raises Bipartisan Alarm," 16 Sep. 2019 The program is in partnership with the Economic Community Development Institute, based in Columbus, and Kiva, an international nonprofit based in San Francisco that seeks to alleviate poverty by connecting people with lenders. Robert Higgs,, "Cleveland to launch online portal to connect lenders with aspiring business entrepreneurs," 16 Sep. 2019 Juli Wilson is seeking comfort in her faith following the death of her husband, popular megachurch pastor and mental health advocate Jarrid Wilson. Rachel Desantis,, "Pastor Jarrid Wilson's Widow Shares Bible Verse He Sent Before Death: 'Speaking to My Heart'," 16 Sep. 2019 Over the past 10 days, Science has repeatedly sought to obtain information about which donors have not fulfilled their pledges, but neither WHO nor the U.N. media offices have provided the information. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Congo arrests former health minister for alleged misuse of Ebola funds," 16 Sep. 2019 The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S Court of Federal Claims, seeks compensation for the loss of the use of the residents’ property. Gene Johnson, The Seattle Times, "Whidbey Island residents sue Navy over Growler jet noise," 16 Sep. 2019 Instead the doc follows the personal journey of its host, former UFC fighter and combat trainer James Wilks, who is seeking to recover from an injury, and simultaneously help his father restore his health. Cynthia Sass, Mph,, "The New ‘Game Changers’ Documentary Proves Even Pro Athletes Can Eat Plant-Based," 15 Sep. 2019 After a controversial no-call helped send the Los Angeles Rams (1-0) to the Super Bowl, the New Orleans Saints (1-0) are seeking revenge for their loss in the NFC championship. Cameron Dasilva, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams odds, picks and best bets [UPDATED]," 15 Sep. 2019

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

Statistics for seek

Last Updated

2 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for seek

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

See more words from the same century

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on seek

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seek

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
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!