Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

investigate

play
verb, in·ves·ti·gate \in-ˈves-tə-ˌgāt\

Simple Definition of investigate

  • : to try to find out the facts about (something, such as a crime or an accident) in order to learn how it happened, who did it, etc.

  • : to try to get information about (someone who may have done something illegal)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of investigate

investigatedinvestigating

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to observe or study by close examination and systematic inquiry

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to make a systematic examination; especially :  to conduct an official inquiry

investigation play \-ˌves-tə-ˈgā-shən\ noun
investigative play \-ˈves-tə-ˌgā-tiv\ adjective
investigator play \-ˌgā-tər\ noun
investigatory play \-ˈves-ti-gə-ˌtȯr-ē\ adjective

Examples of investigate in a sentence

  1. The police are still investigating the murder.

  2. The accident was thoroughly investigated.

  3. The manager promised to investigate when we pointed out an error on our bill.

  4. He was investigated for his involvement in the incident.



Origin of investigate

Latin investigatus, past participle of investigare to track, investigate, from in- + vestigium footprint, track


First Known Use: circa 1510

Rhymes with investigate

abbreviate, abominate, accelerate, accentuate, accommodate, acculturate, accumulate, adjudicate, adulterate, affiliate, agglomerate, alienate, alleviate, alliterate, amalgamate, ameliorate, amyl nitrate, annihilate, annunciate, anticipate, apostolate, appreciate, appropriate, approximate, arpeggiate, articulate, asphyxiate, assassinate, asseverate, assimilate, associate, at any rate, attenuate, authenticate, barbiturate, bicarbonate, calumniate, capacitate, capitulate, catholicate, certificate, coagulate, coelenterate, collaborate, commemorate, commiserate, communicate, compassionate, concatenate, conciliate, confabulate, confederate, conglomerate, congratulate, consolidate, contaminate, cooperate, coordinate, corroborate, deactivate, debilitate, decapitate, decelerate, decerebrate, deconcentrate, deconsecrate, decorticate, decrepitate, de-escalate, defibrinate, defoliate, degenerate, deliberate, delineate, demodulate, denominate, depopulate, depreciate, deracinate, deregulate, desegregate, desiderate, detoxicate, devaluate, diaconate, dilapidate, discriminate, disintegrate, disseminate, dissimulate, dissociate, domesticate, effectuate, ejaculate, elaborate, electroplate, eliminate, elucidate, emaciate, emancipate, emasculate, encapsulate, enumerate, enunciate, episcopate, equivocate, eradicate, etiolate, evacuate, evaluate, evaporate, eventuate, eviscerate, exacerbate, exaggerate, exasperate, excited state, excogitate, excoriate, exfoliate, exhilarate, exonerate, expatiate, expatriate, expectorate, expostulate, expropriate, extenuate, exterminate, extrapolate, facilitate, felicitate, fish or cut bait, garrison state, gesticulate, habilitate, habituate, hallucinate, humiliate, hydrogenate, hypothecate, illuminate, impersonate, inactivate, inaugurate, incarcerate, incinerate, incorporate, incriminate, indoctrinate, inebriate, infatuate, infuriate, ingratiate, ingurgitate, initiate, inoculate, inseminate, insinuate, instantiate, intercalate, interpolate, interrelate, interrogate, intimidate, intoxicate, invalidate, invigorate, irradiate, Italianate, Korea Strait, lanceolate, legitimate, luxuriate, mandarinate, manipulate, matriarchate, matriculate, Merthiolate, necessitate, negotiate, noncandidate, obliterate, officiate, Orange Free State, orientate, originate, oxygenate, participate, particulate, patriarchate, patriciate, perambulate, peregrinate, perpetuate, pontificate, precipitate, predestinate, predominate, prefabricate, premeditate, preponderate, prevaricate, procrastinate, prognosticate, proliferate, propitiate, proportionate, quadruplicate, quintuplicate, reciprocate, recriminate, recuperate, redecorate, reduplicate, reeducate, refrigerate, regenerate, regurgitate, reincarnate, reintegrate, reiterate, rejuvenate, remunerate, repatriate, repudiate, resuscitate, retaliate, reticulate, revaluate, reverberate, scholasticate, second estate, self-flagellate, self-immolate, self-pollinate, seventy-eight, sextuplicate, Singapore Strait, sophisticate, subordinate, substantiate, syllabicate, tergiversate, transliterate, triangulate, vanity plate, variegate, vaticinate, vituperate, vociferate


INVESTIGATE Defined for Kids

investigate

play
verb in·ves·ti·gate \in-ˈve-stə-ˌgāt\

Definition of investigate for Students

investigatedinvestigating

  1. :  to study by close examination and questioning <Police are investigating the crime.>

investigator \-ˌgā-tər\ noun



Law Dictionary

investigate

play
verb in·ves·ti·gate \in-ˈves-tə-ˌgāt\

Legal Definition of investigate

investigatedinvestigating

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to observe or study by close examination and systematic inquiry; specifically :  to make (a criminal suspect) the subject of inquiry and study for the purpose of establishing probable cause
  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to make a systematic examination; especially :  to conduct an official inquiry

investigation \in-ˌves-tə-ˈgā-shən\ play noun
investigative \in-ˈves-tə-ˌgā-tiv\ play adjective
investigator \-ˌgā-tər\ play noun
investigatory \in-ˈves-tə-gə-ˌtōr-ē\ play adjective




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up investigate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of perception or understanding

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

perplex disapprove reduce soothe
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ