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

Even so, business owners are moving forward: One Pocatello wedding and event store owner became the public face of CBD sales when police investigated her last Fall for selling CBD oil with .0175% THC. Meredith Clark, Marie Claire, "Is CBD Even Legal Where You Live?," 12 Apr. 2019 President Trump’s inaugural committee is being investigated by prosecutors in New York. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "House Panel Seeks to Interview Top Organizer of Trump Inauguration," 3 Apr. 2019 As federal prosecutors were investigating Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, Pecker is said to have provided them with information about payments, arranged by Cohen, to women who claimed to have had relationships with Trump. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Has National Enquirer Publisher David Pecker Met His Match in Jeff Bezos?," 8 Feb. 2019 Everyone then travels to the Golden State to investigate, and a precarious situation turns much worse when Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and J.J. Jareau (A.J. Cook) are taken hostage by the armed suspect, according to Entertainment Tonight. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Criminal Minds’ Hints That Rossi's Wedding Will Have an 'Emotional' Cliffhanger," 6 Feb. 2019 Meanwhile, the special counsel has spent months investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether any Trump campaign aides had a hand in the foreign interference plot. Fox News, "China, Russia take their turn at the UN," 28 Sep. 2018 When parents of marginalized, poor students try to navigate around the harsh rules and requirements, they are often investigated, tried, and punished with strict prejudice. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Access to Education for Black Children Proves Difficult for Their Parents, Creating a Disadvantage," 13 Mar. 2019 Another possibility, though, is that Rosenstein knows Trump is in fact being investigated for one or more of the categories of behavior that Barr admits would be obstruction — such as suborning false testimony or withholding evidence. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Trump’s attorney general nominee wrote a memo expressing deep suspicion of the Mueller probe," 20 Dec. 2018 The state police task force charged with investigating the shooting is expected to release its final findings in April, USA Today reports. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "A black security guard caught a shooting suspect — only to be shot by police minutes later," 23 Jan. 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

23 Apr 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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