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

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 Golden laid out the problem for Chase and was told the bank would investigate. David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times, 21 Jan. 2022 Twardak is currently on mandatory administrative leave as Chicago police and the university investigate. Shanzeh Ahmad, chicagotribune.com, 20 Jan. 2022 The governor first announced the proposal in November as supporters of Donald Trump pushed for Republicans to investigate the former President's unfounded falsehoods about election fraud. Steve Contorno, CNN, 19 Jan. 2022 The intersection will be closed for several hours while police officers investigate the fatal crash. Lauren Hernández, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Jan. 2022 After demanding that the government investigate Big Oil, Big Cars, Big Poultry, and Big Semiconductors for allegedly gouging consumers, Elizabeth Warren now contends that Big Grocery is also conspiring to take advantage . . . Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 16 Jan. 2022 Lantana Avenue is shut down until further notice at West North Bend Road while police investigate. Jennifer Edwards Baker, The Enquirer, 14 Jan. 2022 The Harris County District Attorney’s Office will also investigate, authorities said. Antonio Planas, NBC News, 13 Jan. 2022 If a defense lawyer does get to meet their client, prosecutors can make compelling plea offers before that lawyer has time to investigate the case, file motions, or even get to know the client. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Jan. 2022

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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Dictionary Entries Near investigate

investigatable

investigate

investigational

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Statistics for investigate

Last Updated

23 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Investigate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/investigate. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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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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