searching


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

like looking for a needle in a haystack

Similar to searching for something that is very difficult to locate, especially something small and/or something hidden among similar things. Trying to find my contact lens on the floor was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
See also: haystack, like, look, needle

search (one's) conscience

To carefully consider or think about one's own motivations for doing something. We're asking upper management to search their consciences and realize that this decision will negatively impact every employee in the company. I know you're hurt right now, but search your conscience—you don't want to go through with this.
See also: conscience, search

search (one's) heart

To carefully consider or think about one's own emotions about or motivations for something. We're asking upper management to search their hearts and realize that this decision will negatively impact every employee in the company. I know you're hurt right now, but search your heart—you know that breaking up was the right thing to do.
See also: heart, search

search (one's) soul

To carefully consider or think about one's own emotions about or motivations for something. We're asking upper management to search their souls and realize that this decision will negatively impact every employee in the company. I know you're hurt right now, but search your soul—you know that breaking up was the right thing to do.
See also: search, soul

search (something) with a fine-tooth comb

To scrutinize something; to examine or look at something very carefully. We need to search these files with a fine-tooth comb to find that missing paperwork. Police already searched the crime scene with a fine-tooth comb, but they didn't find a shred of evidence.
See also: comb, search

search after (someone or something)

To try to locate or endeavor to obtain someone or something. We've been searching after a new HR manager, but so far the none of the candidates have been the right fit. I'm searching after a computer that can render a lot of complex 3D models.
See also: after, search

search for (someone or something)

To hunt, seek, or try to discover something. We've been searching for locations to shoot our new film. The border is always filled with refugees searching for a better future.
See also: search

search high and low

To look intently for something, usually in many different places. I've searched high and low for that old photo album, but I can't find it anywhere.
See also: and, high, low, search

search high and low (for someone or something)

To look absolutely everywhere for someone or something. We've been searching high and low for an apartment we can afford, but the housing market in this town is atrocious. I searched high and low, but I couldn't find my passport anywhere.
See also: and, high, low, search, someone

search out

To hunt, seek, or try to discover someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "search" and "out." We've been searching out locations to shoot our new film. I have to search Sarah out to get the administrator password to the computer.
See also: out, search

search through (something or some place)

To look through some place or thing, as in an effort to find something. There are dozens of children in this town who spend their days searching through the dump for something to eat. I searched through the contract, but could find no mention of the rates we had already agreed upon.
See also: search, through

like looking for a needle in a haystack

Fig. engaged in a hopeless search. Trying to find a white glove in the snow is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I tried to find my lost contact lens on the beach, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
See also: haystack, like, look, needle

search high and low

(for someone or something) Go to hunt high and low (for someone or something).
See also: and, high, low, search

search someone or something out

to seek and find someone or something. I will search Fred out. I know he's here somewhere. We have to search out the key to the safe-deposit box.
See also: out, search

search high and low

If you search high and low for something, you search everywhere for it. I've searched high and low and I still can't find that book. Note: You can use the verbs hunt or look instead of search. I've hunted high and low for the photos, but I can't find them.
See also: and, high, low, search

like looking for a needle in a haystack

If trying to find something is like looking for a needle in a haystack, it is extremely difficult or impossible. She was told by police that searching for the dog would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Note: This expression is very variable. It soon became clear that we were looking for a needle in a haystack. It's very much a needle in a haystack situation that we're dealing with.
See also: haystack, like, look, needle

search out

v.
To seek and find someone or something: I managed to search out an old jazz album. She lost his address, but she was able to search him out using the Internet.
See also: out, search
References in periodicals archive ?
Our findings indicate that the participants in our study successfully used the KITE retrieval system and were capable of noticing differences in the results between traditional keyword searching and CBR search tools.
After searching for published reviews, the searching proceeds to identify potential original studies.
* Searching for anyone who served during 1969/70 in the nation 01 Panama Canal Zone in the Panama Canal Zone, at 252 Signal Company, Fort Clayton and also Flamingo Island near Amadore Canal Zone.
For every other female, searching is a personal secret, with only half (54 per cent) of secretive female searchers happy for their searches to be shared - just ten per cent more than would be happy for their text messages or emails to be made public.
With an array of available search engines and methods for searching vast quantities of data, an optimal approach to electronic due diligence is necessary.
However, in most cases, free text searching (and even some natural language searching) can often achieve good search results.
Specialized search templates are available for searching by reference, such as Code section, court case citation, etc.
Most engines have the capability of searching for a phrase, thereby greatly enhancing the possibility of relevant hits being returned.
Fortunately, there is help available on the Internet for librarians who want to improve their Internet searching skills.
For instance, even within a single language, commercial database searching remains a fairly unscientific, "seat-of-the-pants thing," observes Richard S.
While somewhat less detailed than the other two formats - it doesn't include prices, for example - it allows easy on-line searching. Many other vendors of auxiliary equipment, hot-runner components, and tooling have also taken their product listings and descriptions (even graphics) on line.
As an example, searching by the partial word infan resulted in 24 matches from Infantry in the Army to Infantry Unit Leader in the Marine Corps.
Indeed, the ACLU opposed an earlier, targeted method of searching passengers who fit a hijacker's "behavorial profile." The Union claimed that authorities seemed to be singling out minorities and "persons with long hair."
Even then, however, the results may still end up being displayed in a web browser, and the browser will then likely be used for further searching for complex topics.
Searching for a specific blog post on the Web can be a challenging task.