google

verb

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.

Examples of google in a Sentence

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 Stories about minor criminal offenses, convictions that were later expunged or charges that were eventually dropped can haunt people for years and decades, surfacing every time a potential employer or even a potential date Googles their names. Sacramento Bee, 7 June 2024 Today, an article on the subject gets added to LexisNexis virtually every week, and Googling the term yields more than 50,000 hits. Remco Zwetsloot, Foreign Affairs, 16 Nov. 2018 Google Trends shows searches for psychics peaked in the final weeks before the 2016 Brexit vote, and around key dates during the country’s exit from the European Union (there’s also a small but significant bump in searchers googling ‘money spell’). Tabitha Stanmore, TIME, 24 May 2024 Then people started Googling him, and were able to visualize his impressive measurements firsthand. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 23 Apr. 2024 Not googling is easier said than done for many of us. Katie Way, SELF, 9 Apr. 2024 That same employee, hearing of Angela Craig's symptoms, had Googled them, and, according to the warrant, was worried Angela Craig may have been poisoned. Sarah Prior, CBS News, 22 Mar. 2024 Do not Google their contact information or you could be misdirected as part of another scam — search on the platforms in question. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 21 Feb. 2024 This rule also applies to our trigger finger when wanting to check in with Dr. Google (aka googling it). Tiffany Leigh, Parents, 4 Feb. 2024

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

Etymology

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/google. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

google

verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on google

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