in·​quire | \ in-ˈkwī(-ə)r How to pronounce inquire (audio) \
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 How to pronounce inquire (audio) \ 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 Reuters spoke to one business owner who said Taliban fighters already visited his workplace to inquire about where his security team keeps its weapons. Fox News, 18 Aug. 2021 Christopher Dshoun Brownlee went to the Human Services Campus on Monday morning to inquire about an indoor place to sleep. Jessica Boehm, The Arizona Republic, 17 Aug. 2021 Utica Police would not confirm the arrest to the Detroit Free Press when a reporter called to inquire on Sunday. Lily Altavena, Detroit Free Press, 29 Aug. 2021 The Fool responds: The best way is just to call the company, ask for the Investor Relations department and inquire about dividend payments. Dallas News, 22 Aug. 2021 His need to have your sister inquire about his mother speaks volumes about his own guilt and anxiety. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 30 July 2021 His need to have your sister inquire about his mother speaks volumes about his own guilt and anxiety. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 29 July 2021 Amy says: Your husband's need to have your sister inquire about his mother speaks volumes about his own guilt and anxiety. Star Tribune, 28 July 2021 The asset managers gain insight and can both follow progress and inquire about blind spots or weaknesses in the strategy. Judy Samuelson, Quartz, 28 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for inquire

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near inquire



inquire into

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Statistics for inquire

Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inquire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for inquire



English Language Learners Definition of inquire

: to ask for information


in·​quire | \ in-ˈkwīr How to pronounce inquire (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on inquire

Nglish: Translation of inquire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inquire for Arabic Speakers


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