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 At the cozy Ham Yard in Soho, day visitors (inquire for rates) are able to use the property’s library and verdant courtyard garden as meeting spaces. New York Times, "The Hotels Reimagining Their Rooms as Stylish Work Spaces," 23 Dec. 2020 Prints from $10; pieces and prices listed on Instagram, message to inquire. Maya Kachroo-levine, Travel + Leisure, "8 Creators and Collectives Selling Art for Social Justice," 3 Dec. 2020 Last year, dozens of people walking by stopped to inquire about the ones planted along our driveway. oregonlive, "These plants will bring fall color and fragrance to Oregon gardens," 6 Nov. 2020 After the Sun Sentinel began questioning, however, Fargnoli contacted FHP to inquire whether FHP had arranged to test the samples taken from the bottle. Brittany Wallman,, "Danger Road: Bullets fly on I-95 as FHP shrugs," 19 Dec. 2020 Each year, Xinjiang municipalities inquire with cotton producers about their labor needs. Adrian Zenz, WSJ, "Coercion in Xinjiang’s Cotton Fields," 15 Dec. 2020 Group rates and private rentals are available, though interested parties should inquire well in advance. Chris M. Worrell, cleveland, "Thrill seekers flock to Ohio’s only public toboggan chutes, at Cleveland Metroparks’ Chalet," 14 Dec. 2020 Residents have been calling her to inquire about the safety of the city, Mayor McCarthy said. Kerry Feltner, USA TODAY, "Police search for attacker in string of 10 unprovoked assaults in Massachusetts suburb," 2 Dec. 2020 During one week, staff called every patient on their waiting list to inquire about the state of their coverage and worked with several patients to help preserve their coverage. Lauren Caruba,, "In the era of COVID-19, organ transplant centers contend with fear, uncertainty," 29 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for inquire

Last Updated

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inquire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for inquire


How to pronounce inquire (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inquire

somewhat formal : 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

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Comments on inquire

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