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

Now, inquiring minds may want to know, what is Fortnite? Scott Springer,, "Fortnite and high school athletes: Moeller, New Richmond coaches face off in debate.," 11 July 2018 Employers can inquire about felonies in interviews, but state law forbids them from asking about first-time convictions for a number of low-level misdemeanors, such as speeding or misdemeanors that are more than five years old. Katie Johnston,, "AG warns 21 employers they violated ban on asking about criminal convictions; 3 are fined," 5 June 2018 Buyers can inquire with sellers through an in-app messaging system or buy instantly. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Best apps and sites for selling used home goods," 8 Nov. 2018 In June, Lauren updated inquiring fans on her stepfather's condition, directing them to the family's GoFundMe page. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Country Star Lauren Alaina Opens Up About Her Stepdad’s Death and Cancer Battle," 22 Oct. 2018 Others have also started to wonder if the picture might hold other upcoming launch clues, inquiring about Rihanna's mascara. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Rihanna Wore an Unreleased Fenty Beauty Item on Her October "Allure” Cover," 19 Oct. 2018 Coop and Lagos spoke to the residents of those houses, inquiring after the elements that had afforded each one its particular sense of coziness, or hygge. Marley Marius, Vogue, "No Corners or Closets: What It’s Like to Live in a California “Spaceship House”," 27 Aug. 2018 Turns out Jackie had been inquiring about Marian’s death to hospitals. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "The 10 Biggest Moments From 'Sharp Objects' Episode 7," 20 Aug. 2018 The closest Gaters ever came to leaving came years ago when Chicago State inquired. David Haugh,, "Biggest victories in Dorothy Gaters' National Hall of Fame coaching career at Marshall came off the court," 1 July 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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Statistics for inquire

Last Updated

11 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on inquire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inquire

Spanish Central: Translation of inquire

Nglish: Translation of inquire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inquire for Arabic Speakers

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