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 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 Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost released a statement saying the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will investigate the shooting. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Man dies in police shooting in emergency room of Ohio hospital," 13 Apr. 2021 The ultimate goal for Ingenuity is to expand how the space agency can investigate other planets. Washington Post, "NASA again postpones historic Ingenuity helicopter flight on Mars," 13 Apr. 2021 State authorities in Virginia will investigate an encounter captured on body camera that appears to show a police officer threatening to execute a Black Army officer during a traffic stop, officials said Sunday. NBC News, "Protests follow fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota: The Morning Rundown," 12 Apr. 2021 The school hired employment attorney Joy Ellis of Foster Garvey law firm to investigate. oregonlive, "Professor says Linfield President Miles K. Davis made anti-Semitic comments; Davis alleges ‘smear campaign’," 12 Apr. 2021 First, a student group organized a petition demanding the school district investigate whether Ms. Hostetter, 54, had taken part in the attack on the Capitol, and whether her politics had crept into her teaching. New York Times, "A Teacher Marched to the Capitol. When She Got Home, the Fight Began.," 10 Apr. 2021 Republicans, including Sens. Ted Cruz, Texas, Rob Portman, Ohio and John Cornyn, Texas, have demanded the administration investigate the claims. Morgan Phillips, Fox News, "Psaki: 'No basis’ for calls to shut down Texas child migrant facility," 10 Apr. 2021 For instance, a few long-haulers have reported some relief of their COVID-19 symptoms following vaccination; the resources of the NeuroCOVID Project could help researchers investigate these anecdotes. Pamela Weintraub, The Atlantic, "The Way Out of Brain Fog," 9 Apr. 2021 The union attempting to organize at Amazon’s Bessemer fulfillment center wants the National Labor Relations Board to investigate how Amazon was able to get the U.S. Postal Service to install a mailbox on site during the mail-in election. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "Union wants investigation into Amazon election mailbox," 9 Apr. 2021

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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Statistics for investigate

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Investigate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/investigate. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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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

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Comments on investigate

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