Definition of seek in English:

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Pronunciation: /sēk/

verb (past and past participle sought /sôt/)

[with object]
1Attempt to find (something): they came here to seek shelter from biting winter winds
More example sentences
  • The situation facing some women upon their release, however, is so desolate that they have returned to the prison seeking food and shelter.
  • Widespread logging destroyed winter shelter, while lumber-jacks sought the lean meat.
  • Dom raced back to Don and explained that there was a boy who sought food and shelter.
search for, try to find, look for, be on the lookout for, be after, hunt for, be in quest of
1.1Attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something): the new regime sought his extradition [no object, with infinitive]: her parents had never sought to interfere with her freedom
More example sentences
  • They are an incredibly valuable resource to a transforming Army that has desired and sought adaptive capacity in its leaders.
  • As such, only verbal consent was sought and obtained.
  • In none of the transfer cases which have been cited to us had the consent of the man been sought or obtained.
try to obtain, work toward, be intent on, aim at/for
formal essay
1.2Ask for (something) from someone: he sought help from the police
More example sentences
  • I've tried to get him to accept my advice that he should seek medical help, but he persists.
  • Following advice from a teacher, Smriti sought medical help but the doctor did not tell her that her son was suffering from schizophrenia.
  • People concerned should seek medical attention when early symptoms set in.
ask for, request, solicit, call for, entreat, beg for, petition for, appeal for, apply for, put in for
1.3 (seek someone/something out) Search for and find someone or something: it’s his job to seek out new customers
More example sentences
  • Clubs and societies all over the country are organising fundraisers and shops and pubs have buckets organised that they don't need to shake or rattle - customers seek them out to make their donation.
  • Many cards were outdated as people moved to new jobs, forcing him to seek them out before starting all over again.
  • Rather, such evidence is not unearthed because of the lack of the will to seek it out.
1.4 archaic Go to (a place): I sought my bedroom each night to brood over it



seek one's fortune

Travel somewhere in the hope of achieving wealth and success.
Example sentences
  • John continued his naval career until 1881 when he decided to seek his fortune in America without success.
  • His paternal grandfather sought his fortune as a fur trapper in Canada, joined the Mounties, then emigrated to South Africa.
  • Established as a pearling port in the 1880s, it has long attracted people from around the world seeking their fortune, giving the modern town a truly multicultural atmosphere.

to seek

archaic Lacking; not yet found: the end she knew, the means were to seek
(far to seek)2.1 Out of reach; a long way off.
Example sentences
  • Optimism is not much in evidence among commentators on Middle Eastern politics and the reasons are not far to seek.
  • The reasons behind sparse usage, however, are not far to seek.
  • One of the principle reasons for this resistance and controversy is not far to seek: design-theoretic research has been hijacked as part of a larger cultural and political movement.


Old English sēcan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zieken and German suchen, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin sagire 'perceive by scent'.

  • 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’.

Words that rhyme with seek

antique, batik, beak, bespeak, bezique, bleak, boutique, cacique, caïque, cheek, chic, clique, creak, creek, critique, Dominique, eke, freak, geek, Greek, hide-and-seek, keek, Lalique, leak, leek, Martinique, meek, midweek, Mozambique, Mustique, mystique, oblique, opéra comique, ortanique, peak, Peake, peek, physique, pique, pratique, reek, shriek, Sikh, sleek, sneak, speak, Speke, squeak, streak, teak, technique, tongue-in-cheek, tweak, unique, veronique, weak, week, wreak

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: seek

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