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 Santa Rosa police are investigating the timeline of the struggle, including how close together the Taser and carotid choke-hold were used. Alejandro Serrano, SFChronicle.com, "Sonoma man arrested in connection to stolen car chase that ended in driver’s death," 10 Dec. 2019 The Texas Department of Public Safety, Federal Aviation Agency and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash of the single-engine Cessna 208. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Pilot in Monday crash near Victoria was flying to Houston, officials confirm," 10 Dec. 2019 The bureau was investigating whether the campaign coordinated with Russia to damage Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "DOJ inspector general, set to release major report on FBI's Russia investigation, spent years prosecuting corrupt officials," 9 Dec. 2019 Clermont police are investigating a crash in which a driver hit and critically injured a 17-year-old pedestrian Monday afternoon. Katie Rice, orlandosentinel.com, "Clermont driver struck, critically injured pedestrian, police say," 9 Dec. 2019 Police in Manila are investigating the incident, and the airport authority has ordered that all CCTV from Terminal 3 be reviewed. Sandi Sidhu, CNN, "Dead fetus found in restroom at Manila International Airport," 8 Dec. 2019 The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a man was found shot in the parking lot of a Center Point apartment complex Saturday night. Anna Beahm | Abeahm@al.com, al, "Investigation underway after man shot dead at Center Point apartments," 8 Dec. 2019 Plainfield police are investigating after a man was found dead Sunday morning inside a truck in a retention pond. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "1 dead inside truck found in Plainfield pond," 8 Dec. 2019 Phoenix police are investigating a shooting that left one man dead early Sunday morning. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "1 dead after shooting at a bar near Indian School Road, 83rd Avenue," 8 Dec. 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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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

13 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Investigate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/investigative?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=i&file=invest07. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for investigate

investigate

verb
How to pronounce investigate (audio)

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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