in·​quire in-ˈkwī(-ə)r How to pronounce inquire (audio)
inquired; inquiring

intransitive verb

: to put a question : seek for information by questioning
inquired about the horses
: to make investigation or inquiry
often used with into

transitive verb

: to ask about
some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fateThomas Gray
: to search into : investigate
inquirer noun
inquiringly adverb
inquire after
: to ask about the health of
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.
Recent Examples on the Web And the only way to book a stay is to inquire via email. David Segal, New York Times, 8 June 2024 After a CalMatters report last year about the provision, Collins received calls from state officials, inquiring about the Ability to Benefit provision. Calmatters, The Mercury News, 6 June 2024 The baby might be using the word as a question to inquire about a family cat, not in the room. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 5 June 2024 Call the hotel directly to inquire about a spot’s availability. Alesandra Dubin, Travel + Leisure, 4 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for inquire 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inquire.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near inquire

Cite this Entry

“Inquire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​quire in-ˈkwī(ə)r How to pronounce inquire (audio)
inquired; inquiring
: to ask about
inquired the way to the train station
: to make an investigation
inquire into the accident
: to ask a question
inquired about the weather
inquirer noun
inquiringly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on inquire

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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