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

The states themselves have not been shy about investigating the tech companies. Brian Fung, CNN, "Dozens of states prepare antitrust probe of Google's advertising practices," 3 Sep. 2019 Vancouver police are still investigating the crash and have not released any details. Jamie Hale | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "1 dead, 2 injured after car crash in Vancouver," 2 Sep. 2019 After investigating, authorities allegedly identified Biles-Thomas as the shooter, the statement says. Diane Herbst, PEOPLE.com, "Man Allegedly Killed by Simone Biles' Brother Was Young Barber Who 'Had Many Dreams'," 30 Aug. 2019 Through further investigating, police learned that shots had been heard in the area earlier that night, and about that same time, a light-colored sedan was spotted. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Chollas Creek fatal shooting victim was 16 years old, police say," 30 Aug. 2019 After investigating, police arrested the girl on a domestic violence charge. cleveland.com, "Upset customer damages door, product stands: University Heights police blotter," 27 Aug. 2019 After that crash, state Rep. Rob Brooks of Saukville said state Department of Transportation Secretary-designee Craig Thompson had committed to investigating safety solutions at the intersection. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "For the second time this summer, a motorcyclist has died at this town of Saukville intersection," 26 Aug. 2019 Police are investigating a possible double homicide at an apartment complex on the northeast side. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Homicide detectives heading to northeast-side apartment where 2 victims appear to be dead," 23 Aug. 2019 Our journalists are committed to investigating important matters of public interest. Dallas News, "DEA investigating UT Southwestern after nurses' overdose deaths," 22 Aug. 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

17 Sep 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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