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 But Trump loyalists in Michigan and beyond have continued to pressure party leaders to further investigate the election results - a process Roe appeared to have little interest in spearheading. Eugene Scott, BostonGlobe.com, 14 July 2021 Police did not investigate further and no other reports were made by Sellie to law enforcement until 2020. Kim Hyatt, Star Tribune, 8 July 2021 The law, which took effect amid a national reckoning on police brutality against people of color, was rooted in the notion that police shouldn’t be entrusted to properly investigate their own ranks in cases of such public importance. Megan Cassidy, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 July 2021 City officials encouraged everyone to report concerns in order for officers to properly investigate and pinpoint the source of noise. Lauren Girgis, Dallas News, 1 July 2021 On Wednesday, Bonta, who took office in April, released guidance to law enforcement agencies and prosecutors on how to investigate and build hate crime cases. Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2021 The event spurred him to further investigate where across the country people were developing early-onset disease. Nicholas St. Fleur, STAT, 22 June 2021 Spichiger adds his team will now set baited hornet traps in Snohomish and King counties to investigate the area further. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 June 2021 And the odds of a bipartisan effort to fully investigate the event remain minuscule after the GOP voted against a commission. Richard Galant, CNN, 20 June 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

22 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Investigate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/investigate. Accessed 25 Jul. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on investigate

Nglish: Translation of investigate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of investigate for Arabic Speakers

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