From Middle English seken (also sechen), from Old English sēċan (“to seek; try to find, to look for, make search for; try to get; strive to effect, aim at, strive after; seek after, try to provide for; try to find out by investigation or examination; enquire about; try to learn by asking, ask, ask for, inquire; look to for, expect from; visit, go to; resort to; go, move, proceed; approach, attain to; attack, pursue, follow”), with influence from Old Norse sœkja, whence the hard /k/ sound (compare beseech); both from Proto-Germanic *sōkijaną (“to seek”) (compare West Frisian sykje, Low German söken, Dutch zoeken, German suchen, Danish søge). Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *seh₂g- (“to seek out”).
- (transitive) To try to find, to look for, to search.
- I seek wisdom.
- 2013 July-August, Catherine Clabby, “Focus on Everything”, American Scientist:
- Not long ago, it was difficult to produce photographs of tiny creatures with every part in focus. […] A photo processing technique called focus stacking has changed that. Developed as a tool to electronically combine the sharpest bits of multiple digital images, focus stacking is a boon to biologists seeking full focus on a micron scale.
- (transitive) To inquire for; to ask for; to solicit; to beseech.
- I seek forgiveness through prayer.
- (transitive) To try to acquire or gain; to strive after; to aim at.
- I sought my fortune on the goldfields.
- 1880, George Q. Cannon, How the Gospel is Preached By the Elders, etc.:
- But persecution sought the lives of men of this character.
- 1886, Constantine Popoff, translation of Leo Tolstoy's What I Believe:
- I can no longer seek fame or glory, nor can I help trying to get rid of my riches, which separate me from my fellow-creatures.
- 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter 1, The Purchase Price:
- Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. […] She put back a truant curl from her forehead where it had sought egress to the world, and looked him full in the face now, drawing a deep breath which caused the round of her bosom to lift the lace at her throat.
- (intransitive, obsolete) To go, move, travel (in a given direction).
- When the alarm went off I sought the exit in a panic.
- (transitive) To try to reach or come to; to go to; to resort to.
For more examples of usage of this term, see the citations page.