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find (something) wanting

To discover or determine that someone or something is deficient in certain or overall requirements, expectations, or standards. The report found the government's stimulus plan wanting in several key areas. Though impressed by his application letter, the firm found his C.V. wanting. Mary was found wanting in basic social etiquette by her peers.
See also: find

find (something) out the hard way

To learn or discover something through personal experience, especially that which is difficult, painful, or unpleasant. Can also be phrased as "find out about something the hard way. Starting your own business is really tough. I had to find that out the hard way. Everyone will tell you that becoming a parent is challenging, but you never really know what that means until you find out about it the hard way.
See also: find, hard, out, way

find (one's) (own) level

To reach one's level of proficiency, comfort, or competancy in a particular area. I'm so impressed with the interns—they've really found their level now. It takes time to find your own level as a teacher, but you'll get there—we all do.
See also: find, level

find (one's) feet

To reach a level of comfort in a new situation. It took awhile, but I've finally found my feet in my job. I know you're nervous, but all freshmen are—you'll find your feet at school, don't worry.
See also: feet, find

find (one's) voice

1. To find one's distinctive style or vision of artistic expression. I think this is your best story yet, Betsy—you've really found your voice as a writer. It takes time to find your voice, but I'm confident you'll get there by the end of our photography class.
2. To regain the ability to speak, especially after something frightening or startling has happened. It took him a minute, but Pete found his voice again after we startled him at his surprise party.
See also: find, voice

found money

money that has come to someone with such ease or surprise that one might have just as well found it by accident. The money he got from his uncle's estate is all found money except for the taxes. He did nothing to earn it.
See also: found, money

found something (up)on something

to establish something on some kind of basis or justification. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) The owners founded this company upon prompt service. We founded our business on practically no money.
See also: found


an office or department that handles items that someone has lost that have been found by someone else. The lost-and-found office had an enormous collection of umbrellas and four sets of false teeth! I found a book on the seat of the bus. I turned it in to the driver, who gave it to the lost-and-found office.

nowhere to be found

not able to be seen There were several high-tech devices in the room, but the instructions were nowhere to be found.
See also: found, nowhere

found on

or found upon
To establish the basis of something with some other thing; base something on something else: The original inhabitants founded their community on the basis of shared labor. The laws are founded upon deep principles of justice.
See also: found

lost-and-found badge

n. a military identification tag; a military dog tag. (From the Persian Gulf War.) My father still keeps his lost-and-found badge from the Korean War.
See also: badge
References in classic literature ?
The old King did not need to urge his daughter to marry the slayer of the Dragon; he found her already willing to bestow her hand upon this hero, who had done all alone what whole armies had tried in vain to do.
Don Quixote at once came to the conclusion that this was the owner of the saddle-pad and of the valise, and made up his mind to go in search of him, even though he should have to wander a year in those mountains before he found him, and so he directed Sancho to take a short cut over one side of the mountain, while he himself went by the other, and perhaps by this means they might light upon this man who had passed so quickly out of their sight.
Yet, oddly enough, I found a far unlikelier substance, and that was camphor.
He found that the light came from a house which looked smaller than it really was, from the contrast of its height with that of an immense giant who stood in front of it.
Off we all scrambled towards him as fast as our wearied limbs would carry us, hoping that he had found water.
As soon as the coloured people found out that he could read, a newspaper was secured, and at the close of nearly every day's work this young man would be surrounded by a group of men and women who were anxious to hear him read the news contained in the papers.
Some of his shorter stories I have found thin and cold to my later reading, and I have never cared much for the 'House of Seven Gables,' but the other day I was reading the 'Blithedale Romance' again, and I found it as potent, as significant, as sadly and strangely true as when it first enthralled my soul.
So while the others were searching for the mouth she hunted for pieces with red hair, and found several of them which, when matched to the other pieces, formed the top of a man's head.
That can only be found in the green country around the Emerald City, and six-leaved clovers are very scarce, even there.
On the bed, and on a movable table which was attached to it, we found books and writing materials, and a paper containing some unfinished verses in manuscript, afterward identified as being in the handwriting of the deceased.
But we may believe that he found some recompense for his Queen's anger in his wife's love.
Although we could nowhere find, during our whole visit, a single drop of fresh water, yet some must exist; for by an odd chance I found on the surface of the salt water, near the head of the bay, a Colymbetes not quite dead, which must have lived in some not far distant pool.
Master," cries the fellow, after thanking him, "I have a curious thing here in my pocket, which I found about two miles off, if your worship will please to buy it.
Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!
I walked and, I believe, descended, but I presently found a great alteration in my sensations.