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 Anne Arundel schools spokesman Bob Mosier said after an initial period to settle into the hybrid routine, guardians can reach out to their child’s school and inquire about changing education formats. Lillian Reed,, "Here’s what you need to know about Maryland public schools reopening next week," 25 Feb. 2021 Knock on your neighbor’s door and inquire about their plans. Jennifer Folsom, NBC News, "Author Jennifer Folsom: 4 ways to stay connected this Thanksgiving — while staying at home," 23 Nov. 2020 Officers subsequently spoke to the manager, who said the woman shoved her cell phone to his face to inquire about the item. cleveland, "Dead mouse deposited at bank: Mayfield Heights Police Blotter," 18 Jan. 2021 Speak with your local butcher to inquire about a pork loin, skin on, belly attached. Sunset Magazine, "Evan Funke’s Roman Holiday-Inspired Recipes," 18 Dec. 2020 If your spouse served in the military, contact the Veterans Administration to inquire about additional benefits. Liz Weston, oregonlive, "Liz Weston: Financial steps after spouse dies include holding onto assets, even when facing family pressure," 9 Jan. 2021 The Washington Examiner reached out to the Boise Police Department to inquire about any updates in the case but did not immediately hear back. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Sole Anne Frank memorial in US vandalized with swastikas, days before Hanukkah," 10 Dec. 2020 Years later, Zanno reached out to Phipps through his confidant Pete Larson, president of the Black Hills Institute, a South Dakota commercial paleontology firm, to inquire about selling the Dueling Dinosaurs to the NCMNS. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "'Dueling Dinosaurs' fossil, hidden from science for 14 years, could finally reveal its secrets," 17 Nov. 2020 In November 2018, police said Tuesday, friends of the victims' families, as well as a City of Dallas employee, contacted the Dallas Police Department’s homicide unit to inquire about the status of the investigation and whether it could be revived. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "28-year-old Texas man charged in 2014 slaying of two women in west Oak Cliff," 10 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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Learn More about inquire

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

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inquire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for inquire



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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