goo·​gle ˈgü-gəl How to pronounce google (audio)
variants or Google
googled or Googled; googling ˈgü-g(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce google (audio) or Googling; googles or Googles

transitive verb

: to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (someone or something) on the World Wide Web
googleable adjective
or Googleable
The Massachusetts trio may not have picked an easily Googleable name … Leah Greenblatt

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Google vs. Googol

The verb google and the noun googol are commonly confused because they have similar pronunciations. Google is the word that is more common to us now, and so it is sometimes mistakenly used as a noun to refer to the number 10100. That number is a googol, so named by Milton Sirotta, the nephew of the American mathematician Edward Kasner, who was working with large numbers like 10100. Google, on the other hand, is the name of a search engine as well as a verb that refers to searching the Internet using the Google search engine. (The search engine’s name was inspired by the number: the founders of Google chose the name to reflect their mission “to organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.”) You can remember that the number is spelled googol by remembering that a googol has lots of o’s.

Two related words, googolplex and googleplex, are also commonly confused. A googolplex is the number 1 followed by a googol of zeros; the Googleplex is the Mountain View, California headquarters of Google.

Example Sentences

Then where are they going, if not to Faulkner and Achebe and Naipaul?  … To the movies; to television (hours and hours); to Googling obsessively (hours and hours); to blogging and emailing and text messaging … Cynthia Ozick, Harper's, April 2007
The Sports Gal and I delayed dinner plans so I could analyze the replays like a police chief. Eventually she realized we weren't leaving the house, so she made herself a sandwich and headed upstairs to Google divorce lawyers. Bill Simmons, ESPN, 6 Dec. 2004
Have you ever googled yourself, maybe late at night, when nobody else was around? It's OK, you can admit it—everybody does it. Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News, 17 Apr. 2004
Recent Examples on the Web Tom has googled enough for the both of us. Adrianna Freedman, Good Housekeeping, 14 Mar. 2023 Or to google the parents of the bat mitzvah girl? Allan Ripp, WSJ, 20 May 2021 People are going to google you and their going to find a strong brand, a weak one or nothing. Rodger Dean Duncan, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2023 Analyzing Google search data can also provide a head start on predicting an outbreak—people often google their symptoms before going to the doctor. Sabrina Weiss, WIRED, 14 Dec. 2022 Reviews are still coming in, and some of them are not glowing (google it for yourself). Tracy Ross, Outside Online, 8 Sep. 2020 Once in the big city, and not having much by way of industry connections, Aaryan would google for acting jobs and commute for hours to get to auditions. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 8 July 2022 Look at your Facebook page and your LinkedIn profile and google yourself. Adam Stott, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 The best work around would be to google the person’s name and city which should provide the address, then use to run the report for safety. Christopher Elliott, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'google.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Google, trademark for a search engine

First Known Use

2000, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of google was in 2000

Dictionary Entries Near google

Cite this Entry

“Google.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


goo·​gle ˈgü-gəl How to pronounce google (audio)
googled; googling -g(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce google (audio)
: to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the Internet

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