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research (n.)

1570s, "act of searching closely," from French recerche (1530s, Modern French recherche), back-formation from Old French recercher (see research (v.)). Meaning "scientific inquiry" is first attested 1630s. Phrase research and development is recorded from 1923.

research (v.)

1590s, from French recercher, from Old French recercher "seek out, search closely," from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + cercher "to seek for," from Latin circare "go about, wander, traverse," in Late Latin "to wander hither and thither," from circus "circle" (see circus). Related: Researched; researching.

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Definitions of research from WordNet
1
research (v.)
attempt to find out in a systematically and scientific manner;
The student researched the history of that word
research (v.)
inquire into;
the students had to research the history of the Second World War for their history project
Synonyms: search / explore
2
research (n.)
systematic investigation to establish facts;
research (n.)
a search for knowledge;
their pottery deserves more research than it has received
Synonyms: inquiry / enquiry
From wordnet.princeton.edu