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 inquiringly (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 The president first blasted Pelosi for leading a congressional delegation to Jordan to inquire about Syria and said her attention should be focused elsewhere. Nick Givas, Fox News, "Trump says Pelosi should investigate Obama's Syria red line, Schiff should be 'deposed'," 21 Oct. 2019 One of the two officials, Aaron Aquino, who now heads the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, testified that Albayalde called him then to inquire about the status of the cases against his men. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Philippine police chief resigns amid drug allegations," 13 Oct. 2019 The reconstructed record released on Sept. 24 shows that Trump urged Zelensky to inquire into the Bidens, the Ukrainian role in the 2016 US election, and also pressed him to talk to Giuliani and Barr. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Trump and Ukraine: The complete impeachment timeline," 1 Oct. 2019 Last November, the couple contacted the Social Security Administration to inquire about registering Azul for a Social Security number. oregonlive, "These parents don’t want their kid to be labeled boy or girl until child is old enough to decide on own," 28 Sep. 2019 Last November, the couple contacted the Social Security Administration to inquire about registering Azul for a Social Security number. Los Angeles Times, "These L.A. parents don’t want to assign a gender to their baby, so the government did it for them," 25 Sep. 2019 Developer Brad Friedman, director of Midwest operations for The Lynmark Group, emailed the city July 1 to inquire about the property and request a meeting with city staff. Genevieve Bookwalter,, "Developers express interest in downtown Evanston parking lot with eye toward residential use," 23 July 2019 The situation was odd enough for third baseman Justin Turner and second baseman Enrique Hernandez to inquire from their positions. Jorge Castillo,, "Dodgers beat the Giants but lose Rich Hill early in the game," 19 June 2019 The Happy Valley police officer who arrested him called to inquire about the bike, and McVicker asked for it to be returned., "Oregon man arrested while seeking bike return from police," 5 June 2019

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

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for inquire

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

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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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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

Comments on inquire

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something of little or no value

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