verb in·quire \ in-ˈkwī(-ə)r \
Updated on: 10 Jan 2018

Definition of inquire

inquired; inquiring
transitive verb
1 : to ask about
  • some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate
  • —Thomas Gray
2 : to search into : investigate
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




play \in-ˈkwī-riŋ-lē\ adverb
inquire after
: to ask about the health of

Examples of inquire in a Sentence

  1. When I inquired, they told me she was not here.

  2. We inquired the way to the station.

  3. “So, what do you want?” he inquired.

Recent Examples of inquire from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of inquire

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

INQUIRE Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of inquire for English Language Learners

  • : to ask for information

INQUIRE Defined for Kids


verb in·quire \ in-ˈkwīr \

Definition of inquire for Students

inquired; inquiring
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.





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up inquire? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


to make or become suitable or fit

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Winter Words Quiz

  • fox-in-front-of-cabin-in-winter
  • Another word for ‘a person who travels to an area of warmth and sun, especially in winter’ is a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!