investigate

verb
in·ves·ti·gate | \in-ˈve-stə-ˌgāt \
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 \ noun
investigative \in-ˈve-stə-ˌgā-tiv \ adjective
investigator \in-ˈve-stə-ˌgā-tər \ noun
investigatory \in-ˈve-sti-gə-ˌtȯr-ē \ 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

The Virginia Department of Health is investigating how Killy contracted the disease and all who came in contact with the baby, including the other children at the day care, have been given a preventive dose of antibiotics, according to WTVR. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Baby dies from meningitis, parents issue warning," 12 July 2018 The state Department of Health Services investigated 108 lead-poisoning cases reported to the city's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program between 2012 and 2017. Ahmed Elbenni, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mayor Tom Barrett has nominated a new Health Department commissioner. Here are the problems facing the agency," 12 July 2018 The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident. Deanna Paul, chicagotribune.com, "California woman beats a 91-year-old Mexican man with a brick, tells him to ‘go back to your country’," 11 July 2018 The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the police shooting. Juan Ortega, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Police officer wounded in shootout, and man with rifle is dead in Miami-Dade," 11 July 2018 The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident. Deanna Paul, courant.com, "A 91-year-old Mexican man beaten with a brick, told to 'go back to your country'," 10 July 2018 Both the Roseville Police Department and the FBI are investigating the robbery. Claire Morgan, sacbee, "Man accused of robbing Roseville bank flees, causing three-car crash, police say," 10 July 2018 The state Department of Public Health is investigating complaints against the Newfield Rest Home, a residential care facility on Newfield Street with 14 residents. Shawn R. Beals, Courant Community, "State Investigating Complaint At Middletown Residential Care Facility," 10 July 2018 The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident. Deanna Paul, BostonGlobe.com, "91-year-old Mexican man beaten with a brick, told to ‘go back to your country’," 10 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to investigate

open investigation

under investigation

Statistics for investigate

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

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 \
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 \
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 \ noun
investigative \in-ˈves-tə-ˌgā-tiv \ adjective
investigator \-ˌgā-tər \ noun
investigatory \in-ˈves-tə-gə-ˌtōr-ē \ adjective

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evasion of direct action or statement

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