Definition of research in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈsəːtʃ/
Pronunciation: /ˈriːsəːtʃ/


[mass noun] (also researches)
1The systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions: the group carries out research in geochemistry medical research he prefaces his study with a useful summary of his own researches
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.
1.1 [as modifier] Engaged in or intended for research: 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 have 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.
investigate, conduct investigations into, study, enquire into, make enquiries into, look into, probe, explore, analyse, examine, scrutinize, inspect, review, assess
study, read, read up on, pore over, delve into, dig into, sift through
informal check out
1.1Discover or verify information for use in (a book, programme, etc.): I was in New York researching my novel (as adjective, with submodifier researched) 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 in British English puts the stress on the second syllable, -search. In US English the stress is reversed and 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

Line breaks: re|search

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