linear search


Definition: Search an array or list by checking items one at a time.

Also known as sequential search.

Generalization (I am a kind of ...)

Specialization (... is a kind of me.)
transpose sequential search.

Aggregate parent (I am a part of or used in ...)
Bond Sequential Search.

Aggregate child (... is a part of or used in me.)
move-to-front heuristic.

See also binary search, hash table.

Note: Average run time is Θ (n/2) when the item is found.

Author: PEB


(C). Flower Brackets' implementation in (Java).

More information

expected time. Demonstration.

Go to the Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures home page.

If you have suggestions, corrections, or comments, please get in touch with Paul Black.

Entry modified 12 February 2019.
HTML page formatted Tue Feb 12 10:57:43 2019.

Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "linear search", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Vreda Pieterse and Paul E. Black, eds. 12 February 2019. (accessed TODAY) Available from: