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SEARCH means try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of. It is more formal and expresses more effort than "look for".

"Police searched for clues in the area."
"He searched her face, hoping to see some glimmer of emotion."

If you search a place or person, you examine them thoroughly because you are trying to find something: search the Internet/the Web/a person, etc.

"The detectives searched the house from top to bottom."
"I've searched high and low but I can't find my birth certificate."

Don't say that you "search" the thing you are trying to find. You can say that you search for it, but you usually say that you look for it.

"He's always looking for his keys."

SEEK (SOUGHT, SOUGHT) means try to find, get or reach: seek a job/position/a remedy/help/assistance/refuge/asylum/happiness/forgiveness, etc. 

"The company is seeking new ways to improve service."

It's possible to seek fame, or a college degree, or approval — as long as you're looking for it, or longing for it, you're seeking it. "Seek" usually means to look for something intangible.

"I think it's time we sought legal advice."

"Seek" is often used in writing, but not in conversation. Instead of saying that someone seeks something, you say that they try to get it or try to find it.

"I tried to get their support for a trade union."

In modern English, you never say that someone seeks a person or an object. You use that "look for" instead.

"I've been looking for you all over."

SEEK and SEARCH, meaning look for something, are often confused as they both can mean almost the same. 

"I'm searching for/seeking the Holy Grail."

However, water seeks the lowest level, it doen't search for the lowest level. You seek a college education, you don't search for one. You can search a forest for your lost watch, you can't seek a forest for your lost watch.

"She searched the Web for information about the car."

Some users feel that "seek" has an element of need and single-mindedness while "search for" is more objective and task-oriented. 

"I will seek my true love in this club."
"I will search this club for my true love."

Searching for something is normally a far more intense activity than seeking. "Seek" can have the same force as "search for", but is less colloquial. 

"I cannot find my passport, and I have spent the day searching the house for it." 

LOOK FOR means try to find something or someone, either because you have lost them or because you need them. As a phrasal verb, it is more casual and has a wider meaning than the other options.

"Have you seen my gloves? I've been looking for them all week."
"I was looking for Andy. Do you know where he is?"


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