Definition of research in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrēˌsərCH/


1The systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions: we are fighting meningitis by raising money for medical research
More example sentences
  • The fact is that medical research is not concerned with the welfare of animals, and nor should it be.
  • A place for qualitative research in systematic reviews now seems established.
  • It is salutary to wonder how much more beneficial it would have been to have spent these sums of money on medical research.
investigation, experimentation, testing, analysis, fact-finding, fieldwork, examination, scrutiny
experiment(s), experimentation, test(s), testing, inquiry/inquiries, study/studies
1.1 (researches) Acts or periods of investigation and study: his pathological researches were included in official reports
More example sentences
  • Taxation, diminished by nine-tenths, served only for the maintenance of internal order, the security of life and property, the support of schools, and the encouragement of new researches.
  • Further researches proved that an interrupted current in any coil gave out at each interruption such intense extra currents that the whole atmosphere in the room would have a momentary invisible charge, which became evident if a microphonic joint was used as a receiver with a telephone.
  • Subsequently two other larger researches were planned but none of them were completed.
1.2 [as modifier] Engaged in or intended for use in investigation and discovery: a research student a research paper
More example sentences
  • He remained there for 50 years, and on retirement signed on as a research student.
  • When he had been there only about a year, a new research student asked if they could fix a time for a regular weekly meeting.
  • I'm currently writing a short research paper on links between magic and technology.


[with object]
1Investigate systematically: she has spent the last five years researching her people’s history [no object]: the team has been researching into flora and fauna
More example sentences
  • The actress plays Eve, a beautiful scientist researching into the working of the human heart.
  • He was researching into the production of artificial rubber and fuel.
  • You now have an explanation for your second point, that the hours were spent in researching into the law and matters of that kind.
study, read, read up on, sift through, look into
informal check out
1.1Discover facts by investigation for use in (a book, program, etc.): I was in New York researching my novel (as adjective, with submodifier researched) this is a well-researched and readable account
More example sentences
  • While researching the book he decided to have a drink in every bar that bears his name, and there are plenty of those.
  • We will also be researching the international market and following the trends in color.
  • Her day starts with a round of toast and, if she is not researching the programme, she looks after the show's guests for the day.


The traditional pronunciation of research in British English puts the stress on the second syllable, -search. In US English, the stress nearly always comes on the re-. The US pronunciation is becoming more common in British English and, while some traditionalists view it as incorrect, it is now generally accepted as a standard variant of British English.



Example sentences
  • As you are doing your various modules, begin to think about whether there are any topics that might interest you and that might provide you with a researchable area.
  • At that time, participants agreed that the complex issues were researchable, and that good studies would lead to interventions with real impact,’ he added.
  • Additionally, the idea that psychoanalytic theories of spectatorship do not generate researchable questions should be rejected.


Late 16th century: from obsolete French recerche (noun), recercher (verb), from Old French re- (expressing intensive force) + cerchier 'to search'.

  • search from Middle English:

    This is from the Old French verb cerchier from late Latin circare ‘go round’, from Latin circus ‘circle’. The main semantic strands are ‘explore thoroughly’ (search the premises) and ‘try to find’ (search out the truth), both of which have been present from the start. In research (late 16th century) the prefix re- is an intensifier of the meaning. The Old English equivalent seek is unconnected, going back to an Indo-European root shared by Latin sagire ‘perceive by scent’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: re·search

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