investigate

verb
in·​ves·​ti·​gate | \ in-ˈve-stə-ˌgāt How to pronounce investigate (audio) \
investigated; investigating

Definition of investigate

transitive verb

: to observe or study by close examination and systematic inquiry

intransitive verb

: to make a systematic examination especially : to conduct an official inquiry

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Other Words from investigate

investigation \ in-​ˌve-​stə-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce investigate (audio) \ noun
investigative \ in-​ˈve-​stə-​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce investigate (audio) \ adjective
investigatory \ in-​ˈve-​sti-​gə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce investigate (audio) \ adjective

Examples of investigate in a Sentence

The police are still investigating the murder. The accident was thoroughly investigated. The manager promised to investigate when we pointed out an error on our bill. He was investigated for his involvement in the incident.
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Recent Examples on the Web The ordinance, which went into effect in 2016, sets a 110-day limit for city staff to investigate and close a wage theft case. Alexia FernÁndez Campbell And Joe Yerardi, Chron, "How companies rip off poor employees - and get away with it," 4 May 2021 The ordinance, which went into effect in 2016, sets a 110-day limit for city staff to investigate and close a wage theft case. Anchorage Daily News, "How companies rip off poor employees — and get away with it," 4 May 2021 The ordinance, which went into effect in 2016, sets a 110-day limit for city staff to investigate and close a wage theft case. Alexia FernÁndez Campbell And Joe Yerardi, orlandosentinel.com, "How companies rip off poor employees — and get away with it," 4 May 2021 In a subsequent lawsuit, four of the whistle-blowers claimed Paxton directed his staff to investigate the donor’s enemies and tidy up some of his legal troubles. New York Times, "The G.O.P. Won It All in Texas. Then It Turned on Itself.," 4 May 2021 The Labor Department has the power to investigate these cases and rectify violations when they are found. Washington Post, "Trump era rule that made it harder for gig and contract workers to get minimum wage is withdrawn," 3 May 2021 The ordinance, which went into effect in 2016, sets a 110-day limit for city staff to investigate and close a wage theft case. Alexia FernÁndez Campbell And Joe Yerardi, Star Tribune, "How companies rip off poor employees — and get away with it," 3 May 2021 The country’s law enforcement agencies regularly use financial intelligence to detect potential criminal activities and investigate and prosecute wrongdoing, particularly in recovering the proceeds of crime, according to the report. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, "New Zealand Scores Well on Anti-Money-Laundering, but Gaps Remain, Watchdog Says," 30 Apr. 2021 His remarks also drew a contrast with Trump, who frequently implored the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute his political rivals. BostonGlobe.com, "Lawmaker who voted against certifying election offers to help Biden," 29 Apr. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for investigate

Latin investigatus, past participle of investigare to track, investigate, from in- + vestigium footprint, track

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Time Traveler for investigate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for investigate

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Investigate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/investigate. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for investigate

investigate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of investigate

: to try to find out the facts about (something, such as a crime or an accident) in order to learn how it happened, who did it, etc.
: to try to get information about (someone who may have done something illegal)

investigate

verb
in·​ves·​ti·​gate | \ in-ˈve-stə-ˌgāt How to pronounce investigate (audio) \
investigated; investigating

Kids Definition of investigate

: to study by close examination and questioning Police are investigating the crime.

Other Words from investigate

investigator \ -​ˌgā-​tər \ noun

investigate

verb
in·​ves·​ti·​gate | \ in-ˈves-tə-ˌgāt How to pronounce investigate (audio) \
investigated; investigating

Legal Definition of investigate

transitive verb

: to observe or study by close examination and systematic inquiry specifically : to make (a criminal suspect) the subject of inquiry and study for the purpose of establishing probable cause

intransitive verb

: to make a systematic examination especially : to conduct an official inquiry

Other Words from investigate

investigation \ in-​ˌves-​tə-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce investigate (audio) \ noun
investigative \ in-​ˈves-​tə-​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce investigate (audio) \ adjective
investigator \ -​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce investigate (audio) \ noun
investigatory \ in-​ˈves-​tə-​gə-​ˌtōr-​ē How to pronounce investigate (audio) \ adjective

Comments on investigate

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