I'm looking for a single word in English that means something akin to "one who searches" or "one who searches for meaning." I am hoping for a rustic/obscure word (not a commonly used word), but not a word that's tricky to pronounce.

It could be a verb as in 'searching for meaning' in hard circumstances, for example:

She _____ after her son's death.

or it could be a noun, as in 'one who searches for anything/everything' as in:

If she wasn't searching for the meaning of life, then she was searching for the answer to why we look away from the poor, or why lovers break up, or even why one of her old socks always disappeared in the dryer. Yes, indeed, she was a ____.

(Okay that example is hockey, but you get my drift....)

  • 4
    Is there any reason 'searcher' is not appropriate? Commented May 3, 2016 at 19:45
  • Use "looker" unless you provide more context.
    – vickyace
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 19:50
  • Can you please provide an example? That would help answering your question.
    – Bookeater
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 19:57
  • What options have you tried so far, which turned out to be unsuitable or inadequate? There are many possibilities, and people here are likely simply to duplicate your efforts. For a start, in what kind of context do you imagine using the term? Commented May 3, 2016 at 20:02
  • 8
    A seeker of meaning. A seeker of truth. One who searches for this type of things is a seeker.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 20:03

5 Answers 5



from bing: NOUN 1.a person who is attempting to find or obtain something: "a tenacious seeker of the truth" ·



She did some soul-searching after her son's death.

soul-searching, noun: A penetrating examination of one's motives, convictions, and attitudes. adj: Displaying the characteristics of deep or painful self-analysis



Possibly you want investigator.

one who observes or studies by close examination and systematic inquiry
'investigators who discovered new evidence that the universe was much older than had been previously estimated'

Synonyms experimenter, researcher
Related Words monitor, observer; empiric, empiricist, fact finder; field-worker; examiner, inspector



Consider, quester

Someone making a search or inquiry.

WordNet by Farlex

He quested after his lost son.


quest noun

A long search for something that is difficult to find: a quest for the meaning of life

Cambridge Dictionaries Online


I believe "Epistemophilia" may be an appropriate choice.

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