inquiry

noun
in·​qui·​ry | \ in-ˈkwī(-ə)r-ē How to pronounce inquiry (audio) , ˈin-ˌ; ˈin-kwə-rē, ˈiŋ-; ˈin-ˌkwir-ē How to pronounce inquiry (audio) \
plural inquiries

Definition of inquiry

1 : a request for information
2 : a systematic investigation often of a matter of public interest
3 : examination into facts or principles : research

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Examples of inquiry in a Sentence

Discovered when Galileo Galilei turned the first astronomical telescope to the heavens in 1610, the Jovian system has been a focus of scientific inquiry ever since. — Chad Galts, Brown Alumni Monthly, November 1996 … his head was tilted at the precise angle of inquiry as to where he should put Muhlenberg's drink. — Theodore Sturgeon, E Pluribus Unicorn, (1953) 1965 … distinguish between legitimate legislative inquiry into the acts of a man … and illegitimate inquiry into opinions … — Norman Thomas, New Republic, 28 Feb. 1955 She refused to answer inquiries from the media about her marriage. The board ordered an inquiry to determine whether the rules had been followed. Further inquiry showed that he had visited the city twice before. The police are pursuing a new line of inquiry.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In the United States, Facebook faces multiple inquiries by federal agencies. Adam Satariano And Sheera Frenkel, BostonGlobe.com, "Facebook is fined by British agency over Cambridge Analytica data leak," 11 July 2018 In the United States, Facebook faces multiple inquiries by federal agencies. Adam Satariano, New York Times, "Facebook Is Fined in Britain Over Cambridge Analytica Data Leak," 10 July 2018 Testers conducted inquiries by phone, in person and by email through late 2017. Maria Polletta, azcentral, "Undercover testers find discrimination at assisted-living, nursing facilities," 4 July 2018 Several news organizations removed the images from their websites after inquiries by NBC News. NBC News, "News media paid Melania Trump thousands for use of photos in 'positive stories only'," 2 July 2018 The federation issued a statement Monday saying it was prepared for an inquiry by government agencies into its handling of the World Cup campaign. Washington Post, "Salah calls for change after Egypt’s poor World Cup," 2 July 2018 The tricky, twisty structure of this documentary, a scientific and philosophical inquiry by way of a detective story, suggests a joyous earthquake followed by a series of grim, unsettling aftershocks. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "'Three Identical Strangers' is a riveting account of identical triplets separated at birth," 28 June 2018 The news comes amid nearly a dozen inquiries by ethics watchdogs, federal auditors and congressional committees into Pruitt's actions at the helm of the federal government's environmental regulator. Maegan Vazquez, CNN, "NYT highlights Pruitt's cozy relationship with a coal baron," 3 June 2018 Roberts said in the statement (which was sent by the Supreme Court in response to an inquiry from the Associated Press). Dara Lind, Vox, "John Roberts is mad at Trump for attacking an “Obama judge”," 21 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inquiry.' 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 inquiry

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for inquiry

see inquire

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Learn More about inquiry

Statistics for inquiry

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inquiry

The first known use of inquiry was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for inquiry

inquiry

noun

English Language Learners Definition of inquiry

: a request for information
: an official effort to collect and examine information about something
: the act of asking questions in order to gather or collect information

inquiry

noun
in·​qui·​ry | \ ˈin-ˌkwī-rē How to pronounce inquiry (audio) , -kwə-\
plural inquiries

Kids Definition of inquiry

1 : the act of asking a question or seeking information On further inquiry, we learned his name.
2 : a request for information The inquiry is confidential.
3 : a thorough examination an official inquiry

inquiry

noun
in·​qui·​ry | \ ˈin-ˌkwīr-ē, in-ˈkwīr-ē; ˈin-kwə-rē, ˈiŋ- How to pronounce inquiry (audio) \
plural inquiries

Legal Definition of inquiry

1 : a request for information such doubt as would cause a reasonable person to make an inquiry
2 : a systematic official investigation often of a matter of public interest especially by a body (as a legislative committee) with power to compel testimony
on inquiry
: having notice that inquiry should be made

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More from Merriam-Webster on inquiry

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inquiry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inquiry

Spanish Central: Translation of inquiry

Nglish: Translation of inquiry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inquiry for Arabic Speakers

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