search engine
  • noun a piece of software that searches a database
  • software which examines or explores the Internet, looking through Web pages, documents, files, images, audio, multimedia, news, message boards, and the like, using selected keywords. A search engine may incorporate, for instance, a program which searches all available or applicable Web sites as selected by a proprietary algorithm, another program which creates an index or catalog of these sites, and another program which compares a given keyword search with all entries in the index and gives the user the results. A typical search can take just a fraction of second. A search engine may be limited to specific areas of interest, such as art or electronics, specific formats, such as mp3 or JPEG, and so on. Also called Web search engine.
  • Software that examines or explores documents, files, databases, disks, the Internet, or the like, looking for specified keywords or other data or items.

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