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

Detectives with the San Diego Police Department’s central division were investigating the shooting. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Man shot in his arm, hip while walking in East Village," 9 July 2019 Officials were investigating whether the window was already opened or if someone had opened it. Johnny Diaz, sun-sentinel.com, "Family seeks answers after toddler dies in 11-floor fall from cruise ship," 9 July 2019 Each episode investigates eerie future-is-now realms of A.I.: autonomous weapons, medical diagnostics, smart robots, brain waves flying a simulated plane. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, "Three Podcasts to Listen to in July," 9 July 2019 He was brought to the UConn Medical Center, but was pronounced dead at 8:29 p.m. The North Central Municipal Accident Reconstruction Squad is investigating the crash. Shannon Larson, courant.com, "Bristol resident identified as victim in fatal Avon rollover crash," 9 July 2019 Another one of our children has been murdered in a heinous and unprovoked way—the DOJ must investigate this hate crime immediately. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "A black teenager was listening to rap music. A white man allegedly killed him for it.," 9 July 2019 Birmingham detectives are investigating after a person was fatally shot Monday night in west Birmingham. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al.com, "Person fatally shot Monday night in west Birmingham," 8 July 2019 Louisville Metro Police are investigating a fatal shooting Monday evening just west of Shively on Cane Run Road. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "LMPD investigating fatal shooting near Cane Run Road and Crums Lane," 8 July 2019 In 2005, law enforcement officials there investigated Mr. Epstein after the parents of one of his accusers reported an incident to the police. Ali Watkins, New York Times, "Jeffrey Epstein: Seizure of Photos of Nude Girls Deepens Questions About Earlier Deal," 8 July 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

circa 1510, 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

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for investigate

The first known use of investigate was circa 1510

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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 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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Comments on investigate

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