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

Several bishops investigated, the AP said, and yet the victim was never interviewed and police were never called in. Washington Post, "The Vatican seeks to indict two priests in abuse case within its walls," 18 Sep. 2019 Meanwhile, the league will investigate the charges in a manner that respects the work of law enforcement. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "The Murky Future for Pirates Pitcher Felipe Vazquez," 17 Sep. 2019 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating at least 380 cases of lung disease in 36 states — mostly among young people — possibly linked to vaping nicotine and marijuana. Los Angeles Times, "Vapers seek relief from nicotine addiction by turning to cigarettes," 16 Sep. 2019 Boone went to work on counter-terrorism efforts in Washington, D.C., and investigated how terrorist groups funded themselves. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "She’s traveled the world on some of the FBI’s biggest cases. Now she’s running its Baltimore field office," 16 Sep. 2019 Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating whether Trump exaggerated his wealth to obtain loans. Michael R. Sisak And Bernard Condon, chicagotribune.com, "New York prosecutors subpoena Trump’s tax returns," 16 Sep. 2019 The Hanson Police Department has no reason to believe any foul play is involved, but are actively investigating. Andrea Cavallier, NBC News, "Family fears foul play involved in disappearance of grandmother missing 40 days from Massachusetts home," 16 Sep. 2019 No arrests have been made and the CHP is investigating whether any other vehicles were involved. Bay City News, The Mercury News, "Solo-vehicle crash in Felton kills woman, injures man," 15 Sep. 2019 Britain’s top privacy regulator, Elizabeth Denham, is investigating its use by the police and private businesses. Adam Satariano, New York Times, "Real-Time Surveillance Will Test the British Tolerance for Cameras," 15 Sep. 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

18 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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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