Definition of find in English:

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Pronunciation: /fīnd/

verb (pastand past participle found /found/)

[with object]
1Discover or perceive by chance or unexpectedly: Lindsey looked up to find Neil watching her the remains of a headless body had been found
More example sentences
  • The chances of finding the Thai Millennium coins in your change are very small.
  • How would you rate the chances of finding something good to eat at 6pm on a Sunday in a small village?
  • Detectives said that the body had been found in plastic bags which had been wrapped in a quilt cover.
discover, become aware, realize, observe, notice, note, perceive, learn
1.1Discover (someone or something) after a deliberate search: in this climate it could be hard to find a buyer
More example sentences
  • They said it was a drug search, but they found nothing and damaged everything.
  • Each answer can be found by searching on the Web, or digging deep in your mind.
  • Adams immediately telephoned the police but when officers searched the area they found nothing.
locate, spot, pinpoint, unearth, obtain;
search out, nose out, track down, root out;
come across/upon, run across/into, chance on, light on, happen on, stumble on, encounter
informal bump into
literary espy
retrieve, recover, get back, regain, repossess
1.2 (find oneself) Discover oneself to be in a surprising or unexpected situation: phobia sufferers often find themselves virtual prisoners in their own home
More example sentences
  • Mum Julie says that if her daughter had known where to go for advice she might not have found herself in this situation.
  • I find myself very much in agreement with the underlying principles of the bill.
  • At age 14, she found herself a national and international heroine, and graced the covers of Sports Illustrated and Newsweek Magazine.
1.3Succeed in obtaining (something): she also found the time to raise five children
More example sentences
  • The second quarter drew a total blank on the scoreboard as neither side succeeded in finding the range against tight marking defenders.
  • One way for young writers to succeed is to find new angles and ways to treat the same theme.
  • Those who do not expect to succeed can always find an excuse to cover their faults.
obtain, acquire, get, procure, come by, secure, gain, earn, achieve, attain
1.4Summon up (a quality, especially courage) with an effort: I found the courage to speak
More example sentences
  • When eventually the necessary courage can be found, the car's ready to respond.
  • He finds just enough courage to annoy Billy Jack and get his throat crushed in an awesome display of Billy Jack's prowess in the martial arts.
  • Becoming motivated to overcome the fears of change allows you to find the courage to succeed.
summon (up), gather, muster (up), screw up, call up
1.5 [no object] (Of hunters or hounds) discover game, especially a fox: she heard the new halloo—they had found
More example sentences
  • This means that when some hounds are dragging or have found, the rest either never get to them or run in straggled batches.
  • Hounds moved off to draw Pinner Wood, where they found and went away across Hallows Farm, down Mapley and ran swiftly to Lannersmead, where he went to ground.
  • Hounds soon found at Red Deer Plantation.
2Recognize or discover (something) to be present: vitamin B12 is found in dairy products
More example sentences
  • Also, the high placebo response rate made finding a statistical difference almost impossible.
  • However, geochronological evidence for such processes has not been found yet.
  • This bird can be found all across Canada.
be (present), occur, exist, be existent, appear
2.1Become aware of; discover to be the case: the majority of staff find the magazine to be informative and useful [with clause]: she found that none of the local nursery schools had an available slot
More example sentences
  • It was a great surprise to buy a copy by chance and find the Evening Press is now lively and informative.
  • When James I succeeded Elizabeth, he found his new kingdom at war with Spain in support of the Dutch.
  • Well, we find also that air quality has an impact on the size of the raindrops.
2.2Ascertain (something) by study, calculation, or inquiry: a forum that attempts to find solutions for multimedia publishers
More example sentences
  • In addition, oestrogen has been found to improve quality of life in the short term.
  • The researchers found a solution that is not seen every day.
  • Researchers found a simple solution that can double the shelf life of proteas and can especially benefit the export market.
discover, invent, come up with, hit on
2.3Perceive or experience (something) to be the case: [with object and complement]: both men found it difficult to put ideas into words
More example sentences
  • People find it very amusing to make fun of his stupidity.
  • I still couldn't come to grips with him being so different, but I found his differences interesting.
  • Within hours of joining, she found the job easy and decided to attend work daily.
consider, think, believe to be, feel to be, look on as, view as, see as, judge, deem, regard as
2.4 (find oneself) Discover the fundamental truths about one’s own character and identity: I did psychotherapy for years—I wanted to find myself
More example sentences
  • I didn't need a semester abroad to meet new people and ‘find myself.’
  • In the time shortly after her revelation she not only ‘found herself’ she also found out who her true friends were.
2.5 Law (Of a court) officially declare to be the case: [with object and complement]: he was found guilty of speeding [with clause]: the court found that a police lab expert had fabricated evidence
More example sentences
  • This section applies if a court finds an adult guilty of an indictable offence.
  • He denied the rape when he appeared at Luton Crown Court but was found guilty and sentenced to seven years on Monday.
  • The jury at Glasgow High Court found him not guilty of two other charges of abusing a third boy and a young girl.
judge, adjudge, adjudicate, deem, rule, declare, pronounce
3(Of a thing) reach or arrive at, either of its own accord or without the human agent being known: water finds its own level
More example sentences
  • These features of American and English lyrics have also found their way into German rock.
  • Like water it finds the broad and easy path, the lowest point.
  • Like love, friendship finds its own natural level, I think.
arrive at, reach, attain, achieve;
hit, strike
3.1 (find one's way) Reach one’s destination by one’s own efforts, without knowing in advance how to get there: he found his way to the front door
More example sentences
  • Me and Chris wandered aimlessly, found our way to Claire's house, went in while they were out, and ate their food.
  • We wandered around downtown and found our way to the red-light district.
  • So, taking the few things he could call his own, he found his way to a traveling circus that would have him.
3.2 (find one's way) Come to be in a certain situation: each and every boy found his way into a suitable occupation
More example sentences
  • When she's not around, your job is usually to find her, even though the game hints that wherever she is, she's found her way into a situation far worse than the one you're in now.
  • But when you were doing that kind of work, was it what you needed to do to pay the bills at that time until you found your way into what you truly loved?
  • Between Factory Cafe (on Christopher Street) and Big Cup, I gained a lot of wisdom, met some great guys, and found my way into the life I currently live and love.
3.3(Of a letter) reach (someone).
Example sentences
  • I'd love to contact this girl because she was really sweet and I hope this letter will find her.
  • I hope this letter finds you exceptionally fine.
  • I hope that this letter finds you in good spirits.
3.4 archaic Reach the understanding or conscience of (someone): whatever finds me, bears witness for itself that it has proceeded from a Holy Spirit
More example sentences
  • The books of which I have been speaking found me and taught me.


1A discovery of something valuable, typically something of archaeological interest: he made his most spectacular finds in the Valley of the Kings this resort is a real find
More example sentences
  • For the creationist, the new fossil find is no problem at all.
  • Valuable finds can turn up in the most unlikely of places.
  • Art expert Shirley Graham at Leeds City Art Gallery said the cache was a valuable find.
discovery, acquisition, asset
good buy, bargain;
godsend, boon
1.1A person who is discovered to be useful or interesting in some way: Paul had been a real find—he could design the whole hotel complex
More example sentences
  • Musa Smith and Onterrio Smith intrigue more than a few teams and could end up being the real finds in this year's crop.
  • But the real acting finds here are Jonathan Jackson and Katharine Isabelle.
  • Rookie of the year Evgeni Nabokov, 26, was a real find.
1.2 Hunting The finding of a fox.



all found

British dated (Of an employee’s wages) with board and lodging provided free: your wages would be five shillings all found
More example sentences
  • It's the chance of a lifetime and we don't have to pay anything - all found.
  • Their pay will be 35s weekly, all found.

find fault

see fault.

find favor

Be liked or prove acceptable: the ballets did not find favor with the public
More example sentences
  • If cosmetic, commercial reality has found favour, spare a thought for those playwrights who have taken the people's idiom and heightened it with poetic overtones.
  • Cosmetic dentistry has now found favour among the beauty conscious, especially those who know that a presentable set of teeth is the secret behind a good smile.
  • This model's off-road abilities quickly found favour, notably with rural communities, postal services and telephone and electricity utilities across continental Europe.

find one's feet

Stand up and become able to walk.
Example sentences
  • Azure stood up, finding her feet at last, and grabbed the sword almost as an afterthought.
  • He began to rise from the couch when Zoë found her feet and began running towards her home.
  • Brooke climbed to her feet once she found her feet again, and gave Adam an annoyed look of her own.
4.1Establish oneself in a particular field: I think he really started to find his feet with this album
More example sentences
  • Hardly the man, you'd have thought, to be charged with helping small farmers reeling from the effects of foot and mouth begin to find their feet again.
  • Heworth started slowly but eventually found their feet with skipper Gareth Watson also crossing and Potter adding goals for a 24-4 interval lead.
  • Murphy continued that all went well with her class of 27 new pupils that morning; that they had all settled well and found their feet quite quickly.

find God

Experience a religious conversion or awakening.
Example sentences
  • If people want to find God or religion, it is something they ought to be able to do themselves, and should not be pushed or hassled into it.
  • He had done so in the mistaken belief that by living a solitary existence, far from the religious confusion of his day, he might find God.
  • The most die-hard atheist or skeptic may suddenly find God when faced with extreme suffering or danger.

find in favor of


find it in one's heart to do something

Allow or force oneself to do something: I ask you to find it in your heart to forgive me
More example sentences
  • I love you Emily, please I hope some day you will find it in your heart to forgive me, or at least allow me to say how truly sorry I am.
  • I wish you could have found it in your heart to sit down with me and discuss this instead of airing our dirty laundry in public as you have done in the past.
  • Sometimes humans try to destroy you even when you find it in your heart to do your best to assist them and elevate them from hovel to palace.

Phrasal verbs


find against

Law (Of a court) make a decision against or judge to be guilty.
Example sentences
  • On both these issues of fact the judge found against the claimants.
  • I do not need to deal with this point as it was not a ground on which the judge found against the Appellants.
  • The final point on which the judge found against the appellant was that the claim the appellant was making was in effect that of the bank and not her claim.

find for (or find in favor of)

Law (Of a court) make a decision in favor of or judge to be innocent: a jury found for the plaintiff
More example sentences
  • The court should find for the Attorney General on this one - a public nuisance need not arise from the use of land.
  • For those reasons we respectfully submit that the Court should find for the defendants in relation to this claim.
  • The judge found in favour of the claimant against both the first and second defendants for damages to be assessed, subject to a deduction of 50% in respect of contributory negligence.

find someone out

Detect a person’s offensive or immoral actions: she would always find him out if he tried to lie
More example sentences
  • Even if he does dispose of these assets, there will always be the accusation that he only did so once he was found out.
  • It was inevitable that you would be found out and convicted but in my view you were good at taking people in - you made it an art form.
  • Don't try to fabricate anything on your CV, and don't try to hide anything at the interview, because you will be found out.

find something out

(or find out about something)
Discover a fact: he hadn’t time to find out what was bothering her
More example sentences
  • Wiseman said: ‘It's quite crazy the fact that we just found out about the plans by chance.’
  • So the incident was covered up until a few local veteran detectives found out about it and decided to act.
  • However, as he gets older and the risks are more serious, it becomes inevitable that his secret will be found out.
discover, become aware, learn, detect, discern, perceive, observe, notice, note, get/come to know, realize;
bring to light, reveal, expose, unearth, disclose
informal figure out, cotton on, catch on, get wise (to), savvy
British informal twig



Pronunciation: /ˈfīndəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The newspapers have been full of articles about every findable detail about what might have gone wrong, and what was really happening in the last six months.
  • In an age where everything is searchable and findable, some news organizations have chosen to make their archives available only to paying customers.
  • One way or another, he's findable and he's out there.


Old English findan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vinden and German finden.

Words that rhyme with find

affined, behind, bind, blind, hind, humankind, interwind, kind, mankind, mind, nonaligned, resigned, rind, unaligned, unassigned, unconfined, undefined, undersigned, undesigned, unlined, unrefined, unsigned, wynd

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: find

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