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From Middle English finden, from Old English findan, from Proto-Germanic *finþaną (compare West Frisian fine, Low German finden, Dutch vinden, German finden, Danish finde, Norwegian Bokmål finne, Norwegian Nynorsk and Swedish finna), a secondary verb from Proto-Indo-European *pent- (to go, pass; path bridge), *póntoh₁s (compare English path, Old Irish étain (I find), áitt (place), Latin pōns (bridge), Ancient Greek πόντος (póntos, sea), Old Armenian հուն (hun, ford), Avestan 𐬞𐬀𐬧‎𐬙𐬃‎ (paṇ‎tā̊‎), Sanskrit पथ (pathá, path)).


  • enPR: fīnd, IPA(key): /faɪnd/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪnd
  • Homophone: fined


"Nymphs Finding the Head of Orpheus", a painting by John William Waterhouse

find (third-person singular simple present finds, present participle finding, simple past found or (dialectal) fand, past participle found or (archaic) founden)

  1. (transitive) To encounter or discover by accident; to happen upon.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      Searching the window for a flint, I found / This paper, thus sealed up.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Cowley
      In woods and forests thou art found.
  2. (transitive) To encounter or discover something being searched for; to locate.
    I found my car keys. They were under the couch.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, in The Celebrity:
      I had occasion […] to make a somewhat long business trip to Chicago, and on my return […] I found Farrar awaiting me in the railway station. He smiled his wonted fraction by way of greeting, […], and finally leading me to his buggy, turned and drove out of town.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 10, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      It was a joy to snatch some brief respite, and find himself in the rectory drawing–room. Listening here was as pleasant as talking; just to watch was pleasant.
    • 2011 January 25, Paul Fletcher, “Arsenal 3-0 Ipswich (agg. 3-1)”, in BBC:
      Van Persie scored a hat-trick against Wigan on Saturday and should have found the net again after Bendtner found him at the far post but the Dutchman's header rebounded to safety off the crossbar.
    • 2013 July 20, “Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field. Dr Mincer and Dr Amaral-Zettler found evidence of them on their marine plastic, too.
  3. (transitive) To discover by study or experiment direct to an object or end.
    Water is found to be a compound substance.
  4. (transitive) To gain, as the object of desire or effort.
    to find leisure; to find means
  5. (transitive) To attain to; to arrive at; to acquire.
    Looks like he found a new vehicle for himself!
  6. (transitive) To point out.
    He kept finding faults with my work.
  7. (transitive) To decide that, to discover that, to form the opinion that.
    I find your argument unsatisfactory.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      I find you passing gentle.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Cowley
      The torrid zone is now found habitable.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest[1]:
      “[…] the awfully hearty sort of Christmas cards that people do send to other people that they don't know at all well. You know. The kind that have mottoes [] . And then, when you see [the senders], you probably find that they are the most melancholy old folk with malignant diseases. […]”
  8. (transitive) To arrive at, as a conclusion; to determine as true; to establish.
    to find a verdict; to find a true bill (of indictment) against an accused person
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      to find his title with some shows of truth
  9. (transitive, archaic) To supply; to furnish.
    to find food for workmen
  10. (transitive, archaic) To provide for
    He finds his nephew in money.
  11. (intransitive, law) To determine or judge.
    The jury finds for the defendant.
  12. (intransitive, hunting) To discover game.
    • 1945, Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love, Penguin 2010, page 57:
      They found at once, and there was a short sharp run, during which Linda and Tony, both in a somewhat showing-off mood, rode side by side over the stone walls.



Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

See also finding and found


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


find (plural finds)

  1. Anything that is found (usually valuable), as objects on an archeological site or a person with talent.
  2. The act of finding.



Further readingEdit






  1. imperative of finde

Middle EnglishEdit


find (plural findes)

  1. Alternative form of feend