I've been wondering, what is the difference between seek and search? When should one be preferred over the other?

  • 1
    Are you perhaps looking at this from the perspective of hard drives? This is going to have very different meaning if you're talking about general use of those words or those words as they apply to data lookup on an HD.
    – Alan
    Jul 25, 2011 at 7:37
  • I'm looking at this from all perspective, I've seen seek being use sometime and search some other time, so I was wondering if they can be used the same way. Jul 25, 2011 at 12:43

1 Answer 1


The words seek and search can often both be used for similar purposes. However, they are really quite different. One fundamental difference is that the object of seek is the item you are trying to locate, whereas the object of search is the place you are looking in. E.g.:

I will seek my true love in this club.

I will search this club for my true love.

Also, seek implies that the seeker knows that the item they are looking for does exist. Search has no such implication.

  • 2
    @REGDWIGHТ Could you please extend your answer with a proper usage of 'to look for'?
    – frm
    Oct 14, 2012 at 12:41
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    @bogert: the name of the author of a post is always to be found at the very right — note the prefix, "edited" vs. "answered". (That being said, Urbycoz has been notified of your comment as well.) Anyway, the question of "to look for" vs. "seek" has been covered elsewhere on this site.
    – RegDwigнt
    Oct 14, 2012 at 12:48

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