Legal Definition and Related Resources of Search

Meaning of Search

In criminal law, means an examination of a person ‘s house or other buildings or premises or of his person with a view to the discovery of contraband or illicit or stolen property or of some evidence of guilt to be used in the prosecution of a criminal action for some crime or offense with which he is charged. The term ordinarily implies a quest by an officer of the law, and a seizure contemplates a forcible disposition of the owner . See Hale v Henkel, 201 U.S. 43, 26 S.Ct. 370,50 L. Ed. 652. Seeking out of that which offends against the law, a prying into hidden places for that which is concealed. t.r.e. v state , (Tex. Civ.App.) 499 S. W.2d 182. The Fourth amendment to the federal constitution is intended to protect against invasion of the sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of life from illegal searches. Maryland Penitentiary v Hayden, 387 U.S. 294, 87 S.Ct. 1642, 18 L.Ed.2d 782. Also Adams v New York, 192 U.S. 585, 24 S. Ct. 372, 48 L.Ed. 575.

Search Alternative Definition

In Criminal Law. An examination of a man’s house, premises, or person, for the purpose of discovering stolen or contraband goods, or proof of his guilt in relation to some crime or misdemeanor of which he is accused. The constitution of the United States (Amend, art. 4) protects the people from unreasonable searches and seizures. 3 Story, Const. § 1895; Rawle, Const, c. 10, p. 127; 10 Johns. (N. Y.) 263; 11 Johns. (N. Y.) 500; 1 U. S. St. at Large, 651; 3 Cranch (U. S.) 447. In Practice. An examination made in the proper lien office for mortgages, liena, judgments, or other incumbrances against real estate. The certificate given by the officer as to the result of such examination is also called a search. Conveyancers and others who cause searches to be made ought to be very careful that they should be correct with regard to the time during which the person against whom the search has been made owned the premises, to the property searched against, which ought to be properly described, and to the form of the certificate of search.

Adoption Legal Definition of Search

An attempt, usually by birthparent, adopted person or adoptive parent (but sometimes by volunteers or paid consultants) to make a connection between the birthparent and the biological child.

Learn more with the Adoption Thesaurus

Synonyms of Search


  • chase after
  • closely examine
  • comb
  • delve
  • examine
  • examine by inspection
  • explore
  • ferret
  • follow the trail of
  • go through
  • hunt
  • indagate
  • inquire into
  • inspect
  • investigate
  • look into
  • look over
  • look through
  • probe
  • pry into
  • pursue
  • scan
  • scour
  • scout
  • scrutinize
  • seek
  • trace
  • track
  • track down
  • trail
  • Associated Concepts: illegal search by law enforcement officers
  • searching premises
  • unlawful search
  • unreasonable search and seizure

Related Entries of Search in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Search in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Search in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Search in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Search in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Bonus, Common Authority, Frisk, John Doe, , Plain View Doctrine, Right Of Privacy, Rough Neck, Search Warrant, Silverplatter Doctrine.

Translate Unlawful Search (And Seizure) from English to Spanish

Translation of Unlawful Search (And Seizure) , with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Registro (e incautamiento) ilegal and other legal terms is available here.

Translate Search from English to Spanish

Translation of Search , with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Registro and other legal terms is available here.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Search in the Dictionary Search in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Search
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Search in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Search is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)

Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Search (more about URIs)

Search in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of search.

Meaning of Search (to) in Spanish

Description/ translation of search (to) into Spanish: registrar (locales), cachear (personas)[1]

Note: for more information on related terms and on the area of law where search (to) belongs (criminal procedure law), in Spanish, see here.

Notes and References

  1. Translation of Search (to) published by Antonio Peñaranda


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading

Search in the context of Real Property

See: Title Search in this legal Dictionary.

Search in the context of Real Property

See: Title Search in this legal Dictionary.


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