General English

  • verb to look for someone or something


Information & Library Science

  • verb to look hard for something or somebody


  • verb to ask for
  • verb to try to do something

Origin & History of “seek”

Seek has several Germanic relatives – German suchen, Swedish söka, Danish søge, etc – which point back to a prehistoric Germanic ancestor *sōkjan. The base from which this was derived, *sōk-, went back to an Indo-European *sāg-, which also produced (via Latin) English presage (14th c.) and sagacious (17th c.). If Old English sēcan had developed in the ordinary way, it would have become modern English seech, not seek. For various reasons it did not, but we can see how it would have been in its derivative beseech (12th c.).