Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Preterit and past participle of seek.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • imp. & p. p. of seek.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Simple past tense and past participle of seek.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective being searched for
  • adjective that is looked for

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Have you not sought Him often; —sought Him in vain, all through the night; —sought Him in vain at the gate of that old garden where the fiery sword is set?

    Sesame and Lilies. Lecture II.-Lilies: Of Queens’ Gardens

  • Rajaratnam's lawyers had asked for a sentence below the term sought by the government, one that was "fair, dispassionate and proportionate."

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • They said the federal guideline range overstated the seriousness of Rajaratnam's crimes, and called the term sought by the U.S. "grotesquely severe."

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • The judge said when Butler was convicted that he probably wouldn't impose the term sought by prosecutors.

    BusinessWeek.com --

  • The five-year declaration alone, the Board observed, has been consistently held to be insufficient when the term sought to be registered is highly descriptive.

    The TTABlog®

  • The proponents of the term sought to create a neutral term to include every citizen in the country, very much the same way "British" or "the UK" accommodates the identities of the English, the Scottish, Welsh and others.

    TODAY'S ZAMAN :: News

  • The proponents of the term sought to create a neutral term to include every citizen in the country, very much the same way "British" or "the UK" accommodates the identities of the English, the Scottish, Welsh and others.

    TODAY'S ZAMAN :: News

  • The best thing that can be said is that if the term sought is not sophisticated in nature you may find a satisfactory definition in this book.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol VI No 3

  • This process ensured that 90-95% of all the acts that recorded the early hip hop records had the art of the stage show down to a science by the time a label sought them out or signed them.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • This process ensured that 90-95% of all the acts that recorded the early hip hop records had the art of the stage show down to a science by the time a label sought them out or signed them.

    Move The Crowd! AKA The One Where Dart Bitches About Wack Ass Stage Shows

Comments

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  • Has anyone else noticed how this charming irregular past participle is rapidly being usurped in the active sense by 'searched'? Its demise is perhaps being hastened by the internet-inspired upsurge in usage of the verb 'to search for'. You don't hear "I sought the information on Google" - only "I searched for the information".

    But 'sought' remains in the sense of 'generally desired' - e.g. "Accord sought on children's health bill" (headline from Boston.com).

    November 17, 2007

  • Correct me if I'm wrong (I probably am) but isn't sought the past-tense form of seek? Therefore...

    After you seek, you have sought.

    After you search, you have searched.

    Right?

    November 17, 2007

  • You're right. I suppose my point was that "to search for" is usurping "to seek". You're much more likely to search for information now than to seek it, compared with 20 years ago. Er, I think.

    November 17, 2007

  • It is curious. I think seek refers to searching outwardly for something, while search refers to a more introspective examination, or looking within something. If you're in need of a needle, you will seek one out. Unless you're positive there's one contained somewhere within this haystack, in which case you'll search the haystack for it. Your finding process is now heavily focused on one space, rather than open-ended.

    So, originally in computers the term "search" correctly referred to finding a given string of text within a single file. Actually the needle/haystack analogy has been used for years in reference to that kind of search. Later, the database allowed similar functionality, only instead of searching within one file, you searched within a larger array of associated data. And of course, the modern search engine is little more than a really massive database, so it's easy to see why we still say "search."

    Because technically speaking, we're searching for something within Google's database, rather than a less-focused seeking of the same. Hey, it's been too long since I wrote a madeupical etymology, that felt good!

    November 17, 2007

  • Yes, well said. Perhaps another way of putting it is that we seek something we hope to find, but search for something we expect to find. And maybe stated in these terms our use of internet search rather than internet seek tells us something about our changed relationship with information.

    November 17, 2007

  • Great point. With the internet I can find an immediate answer to nearly every question I have. When I can't, I become surprised and frustrated by the internet's "failure" to deliver. That's probably a lot different from the past, when people spent long hours in pursuit of information, and likely often resigned themselves to never knowing certain things. But ignorance is bliss, right? Information overload is a problem in its own right.

    November 17, 2007

  • Sort of like saying "I searched for the information, but I was not able to find what I sought."

    November 17, 2007

  • We seek someone when they are not lost, but we don't know who they are; we search for someone when they are lost, and we do know who they are.

    November 17, 2007

  • *following the conversation with great enjoyment*

    November 17, 2007

  • Beautiful, mollusque...

    November 17, 2007