in·quire | \in-ˈkwī(-ə)r \
inquired; inquiring

Definition of inquire 

intransitive verb

1 : to put a question : seek for information by questioning inquired about the horses

2 : to make investigation or inquiry often used with into

transitive verb

1 : to ask about some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate— Thomas Gray

2 : to search into : investigate

inquire after

: to ask about the health of

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Other Words from inquire

inquirer noun
inquiringly \in-ˈkwī-riŋ-lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for inquire

ask, question, interrogate, query, inquire mean to address a person in order to gain information. ask implies no more than the putting of a question. ask for directions question usually suggests the asking of series of questions. questioned them about every detail of the trip interrogate suggests formal or official systematic questioning. the prosecutor interrogated the witness all day query implies a desire for authoritative information or confirmation. queried a librarian about the book inquire implies a searching for facts or for truth often specifically by asking questions. began to inquire of friends and teachers what career she should pursue

Examples of inquire in a Sentence

When I inquired, they told me she was not here. We inquired the way to the station. “So, what do you want?” he inquired.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Orlando and Atlanta reportedly have inquired on Ime Udoka. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "Across NBA, Spurs’ influence still spreading," 5 May 2018 Meanwhile, various media outlets began calling to inquire about their next move. Lindzi Scharf,, "Ted Gibson and Jason Backe load up the truck to bring their scissors and famously expensive haircuts to L.A.," 3 May 2018 Call your local synagogue or Jewish organization to inquire if other Yom HaShoah programs are planned. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Yom HaShoah commemorations planned throughout Palm Beach County," 30 Mar. 2018 About 30 school employees quickly signed up for the class, and another 50 people called to inquire about it, a sales clerk said. Robert Mccoppin,, "Teachers line up for concealed carry gun lessons, offered for free at local range," 14 Mar. 2018 Purchase in advance at or call 817-269-1915 to inquire. Faye Reeder, star-telegram, "Mansfield Cares charity ball will ‘Paint the Town Red’ to fund local charities | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 26 Jan. 2018 State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders responded to a letter about the policy when two state representatives inquired about it, according to previous Courier Journal reporting. Zahria Rogers, The Courier-Journal, "Anti-poverty activists finally allowed to enter the Kentucky Capitol," 10 July 2018 In the field, the deputies do not have access to the database needed to inquire about or verify citizenship. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "'Zero tolerance' arrests put 13 in ICE custody, 'had nothing to do with immigration,' Texas sheriff says," 3 July 2018 Klentak declined to say whether the Phillies inquired about Kansas City Royals closer Kelvin Herrera before he was dealt to the Nationals on Monday. Scott Lauber,, "Phillies GM Matt Klentak not ruling out pursuit of 'rent-a-players' on trade market," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inquire.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inquire

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for inquire

Middle English enquiren, from Anglo-French enquerre, from Vulgar Latin *inquaerere, alteration of Latin inquirere, from in- + quaerere to seek

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Phrases Related to inquire

inquire into

inquire of

Statistics for inquire

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inquire

The first known use of inquire was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for inquire



English Language Learners Definition of inquire

: to ask for information


in·quire | \in-ˈkwīr \
inquired; inquiring

Kids Definition of inquire

1 : to ask or ask about I inquired about the schedule.

2 : to make an investigation The committee inquired into the matter.

3 : to ask a question “Can I help you?” she inquired.

Other Words from inquire

inquirer noun
inquiringly adverb

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Comments on inquire

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