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 No further information was available as authorities continue to investigate the wreck. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, "Mobile-area teen killed in wreck involving on-duty officer, authorities say," 12 Jan. 2021 Denver Avenue is closed between Argyle Street and Schmeer Road as police investigate the death. oregonlive, "Pedestrian dead after hit and run in N. Portland," 9 Jan. 2021 All southbound lanes of I-95 near the accident will be closed to traffic into Tuesday night as FHP and local authorities investigate, Montes said. Katie Rice, orlandosentinel.com, "3 killed, 2 injured in crash on I-95 involving suspect fleeing law enforcement, authorities say," 29 Dec. 2020 Per the department’s policy, Santos was placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate the shooting, Police Chief Kirk Jackson said during a Dec. 10 press conference. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Texas police release body camera video of fatal shooting of Joshua Feast," 23 Dec. 2020 West Valley City is investigating the shooting, as per a valley-wide protocol that mandates an outside agency investigate all police shootings. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Man shot in Salt Lake City marks 30th police shooting in 2020 — tying 2018 for record highest," 17 Dec. 2020 The breach presents a major challenge to the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden as officials investigate what information was stolen and over how long a period. David Clark Scott, The Christian Science Monitor, "Monday Sunrise Briefing: Historic rollout and skepticism," 14 Dec. 2020 The judgment comes as federal authorities investigate the oligarch Igor Kolomoisky and his associates. John Caniglia, cleveland, "Cleveland office tower tied to Ukrainian oligarch defaults on $18.5 million loan," 5 Dec. 2020 But the act that prompted Paxton's staff to report him was his hiring an outside lawyer to investigate Paul's claims that the FBI broke the law in searching of his home and offices. Jake Bleiberg, Star Tribune, "Texas AG whistleblowers sue for wrongful firing, retaliation," 13 Nov. 2020

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

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Investigate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/investigate. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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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 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

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Comments on investigate

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