1. diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, applications, etc.: recent research in medicine.
  2. a particular instance or piece of research.

verb (used without object)

  1. to make researches; investigate carefully.

verb (used with object)

  1. to make an extensive investigation into: to research a matter thoroughly.


  1. systematic investigation to establish facts or principles or to collect information on a subject


  1. to carry out investigations into (a subject, problem, etc)

1570s, “act of searching closely,” from Middle French recerche (1530s, Modern French recherche), back-formation from Old French recercher (see research (v.)). Meaning “scientific inquiry” is first attested 1630s. Phrase research and development is recorded from 1923.


1590s, from Middle French recercher, from Old French recercher “seek out, search closely,” from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + cercher “to seek for” (see search (v.)). Related: Researched; researching.

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