Language: Old English
Origin: findan


1 verb
find1 S1 W1 past tense and past participle found [transitive]

get by searching

to discover, see, or get something that you have been searching for:
I can't find the car keys.
Hold on while I find a pen.
Her body was later found hidden in the bushes.
I have to find somewhere else to live.
She had almost given up hope of finding a husband.
find somebody something
Tony asked us to find him office facilities in New York.
Her mother went to the shops, and on her return, Kathleen was nowhere to be found (=could not be found).

see by chance

to discover something by chance, especially something useful or interesting:
I found a purse in the street.
We found a nice pub near the hotel.

discover state of somebody/something

to discover that someone or something is in a particular condition or doing a particular thing when you see or touch them:
I'm sure we'll find her hard at work when we get home.
He tried the door and found it unlocked.
She woke to find a man by her bed.
find somebody/something doing something
Often he found her quietly weeping alone.
find (that)
She looked at her glass and was amazed to find it was empty.

do something without meaning to

to be in a particular state or do a particular thing, or to realize that this is happening, especially when you did not expect or intend it:
After wandering around, we found ourselves back at the hotel.
find yourself/your mind etc doing something
When he left, Karen found herself heaving a huge sigh of relief.
She tried to concentrate, but found her mind drifting back to Alex.
find (that)
He found he was shivering.

learn something by study

to discover or learn something by study, tests, sums etc:
The federal government isn't doing enough to find a cure.
How do you find the square root of 20?
be found to do something
The liquid was found to contain 7.4g of phenylamine.
find that
His study found that married men and women had similar spending patterns.


to have a particular feeling or opinion, or to have a particular feeling or opinion about someone or something:
Will Gary and Gail find happiness together?
find something/somebody easy/useful/interesting etc
She found the work very dull.
Lots of women I know find him attractive.
I found them quite easy to use.
find it hard/easy/difficult etc (to do something)
Hyperactive children find it difficult to concentrate.


to have the experience of discovering that something happens or is true
find (that)
You might find that his work improves now he's at a new school.
I find people are often surprised at how little it costs.
find somebody/something doing something
I think you'll find more women entering the film business now.
find somebody/something to be something
I found the people to be charming and very friendly.

exist in a place

be found somewhere

if something is found somewhere, it lives or exists there naturally:
This species is only found in West Africa.

get enough money/time etc

to succeed in getting enough of something, especially money, time, or energy, to be able to do something:
He's struggling to find the money for the trip.
Where are we going to find the time, the support, and the resources to do all this?

in a court of law

to make an official decision in a court of law
find somebody guilty/not guilty (of something)
Both men were found guilty of illegally entering the country.
find in somebody's favour
The tribunal found in favour of the defendant.

find your way (somewhere)

to reach a place by discovering the right way to get there:
Will you be able to find your way back?

find its way somewhere

informal if something finds its way somewhere, it arrives or gets there after some time:
Her invention has found its way into the shops.

find comfort/pleasure/fulfilment etc in something

to experience a good feeling because of something:
He eventually found solace in religion.

find fault with somebody/something

to criticize someone or something, often unfairly and frequently:
He could always find fault with something, either in my writing or in my personality.

find it in your heart/yourself to do something

literary to feel able or willing to do something:
Seb could not find it in his heart to tell Nahum.

find yourself

informal to discover what you are really like and what you want to do - often used humorously:
She went to India to find herself.

find favour (with somebody/something)

formal be liked or approved of by someone:
The recipes rapidly found favour with restaurant owners.

find your feet

to become confident in a new situation, especially one that is difficult at first:
Rob is still finding his feet as a coach.

find its mark/target

a) if a bullet, arrow etc finds its mark etc, it hits what it is supposed to hit
b) if a remark, criticism etc finds its mark etc, it has the effect that you intended it to have
She soon saw that her accusation had found its mark.

find your voice

a) also find your tongue to manage to say something after being too nervous to talk
b) if a writer, musician etc finds their voice, they are able to express their views, ideas, art etc in the way they want to:
a young film-maker who has finally found his voice

be found wanting

formal to not be good enough:
Their defence was found wanting.

find against somebody

phrasal verb
SCL to judge that someone is wrong or guilty:
The inspectors are likely to find against the company.

find for somebody

phrasal verb
SCL to judge that someone is right or not guilty:
The judge found for the plaintiff.

find out

phrasal verb
1 to get information, after trying to discover it or by chance
find out who/what/how etc
Has anyone bothered to find out how much all this is going to cost?
find out if/whether
Did you find out whether there are any seats left?
find out (that)
I found out that my parents had never been married.
find something ↔ out
To find out more, visit our website.
find out (something) about something
I need to find out more about these night courses.
find out from
We could find out from the local council.
I thought it best to let you find out for yourself.
see usage note know1

find somebody out

[usually passive] if you are found out, someone discovers that you have been doing something dishonest or illegal [↪ catch]:
What happens if we get found out?

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