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 investigation (audio) \ noun
investigative \ in-​ˈve-​stə-​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce investigative (audio) \ adjective
investigatory \ in-​ˈve-​sti-​gə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce investigatory (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 Investigators from the Vallejo and Richmond police departments and the Solano County District Attorney’s Office are investigating a fatal Sunday night shooting involving an off-duty Richmond officer in Vallejo. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "Authorities investigate fatal shooting in Vallejo involving off-duty officer," 11 Nov. 2019 Deputies are investigating an incident regarding three armed suspects breaking into a Pine Hills home early Monday, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "3 armed suspects invade Pine Hills home," 11 Nov. 2019 Louisville police are investigating a fatal vehicle collision Monday evening. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville police: TARC bus, car collision results in TARC passenger's death, two injured," 11 Nov. 2019 External investigation Apple VIP support aren't the only ones interested in figuring out if the company's mysterious algorithm is behaving in discriminatory ways; regulators are investigating now, too. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "NY regulators investigating Apple Card after viral complaint of sexism," 11 Nov. 2019 Both city and state police are investigating, according to previous reports. James Pilcher, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio could name 'johns' under proposed tougher anti-prostitution law," 11 Nov. 2019 California and Michigan authorities investigated Phillips' death. Freep.com, "Murders of Michigan women still unsolved 50 years later — but cops had eye on 1 man," 10 Nov. 2019 Boone County authorities are investigating after a helicopter crashed Sunday afternoon near a Boone County business. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Helicopter crashes in Boone County near Lebanon business," 10 Nov. 2019 Detectives were investigating a fiery crash Sunday that left the passenger dead and the driver hospitalized after a car smashed into a concrete pole. Susannah Bryan, sun-sentinel.com, "Passenger killed, driver hospitalized after car hits pole, bursts into flames," 10 Nov. 2019

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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Statistics for investigate

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for investigate

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

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More Definitions for investigate

investigate

verb
How to pronounce investigate (audio)

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

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