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 Despite the loud helicopter, the NBC variety show had Baldwin's Trump answer questions from reporters about the testimony of Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who implicated Trump in pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival earlier this week. Frank Pallotta, CNN, "'SNL' has Alec Baldwin's Trump take questions about Sondland and impeachment," 24 Nov. 2019 The principal focus of the impeachment hearings is Trump’s efforts to bribe Ukraine, using taxpayer money, to investigate his rival for the presidency. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: A telling omission in hearing (11/22/19)," 24 Nov. 2019 It will be released amid a House impeachment inquiry into Trump's efforts to press Ukraine's leader to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden at the same time as military aid was being withheld from the country. Arkansas Online, "FBI lawyer suspected of altering Russia probe document," 23 Nov. 2019 ProPublica Illinois is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Lakeidra Chavis, ProPublica, "There’s an Emergency Ban on Isolated Timeouts in Illinois Schools. What’s Next?," 23 Nov. 2019 Their divergent declarations came after weeks of closed session depositions and five days of open testimony triggered by a whistleblower complaint about a July 25 telephone call where Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Biden. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, "Closing arguments on Day 5 of impeachment inquiry: Ohio Republicans make their case," 22 Nov. 2019 Romney, a long-time rival of Trump, has criticized Trump for asking the president of Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump meets with potential impeachment jurors: Republican senators," 21 Nov. 2019 Some national Democrats hailed Sondland's latest testimony as significant evidence that the allegations that Trump inappropriately pushed a foreign country to investigate a political rival are true. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Gordon Sondland hearing: How McConnell and his 2020 challengers did (or didn't) react," 21 Nov. 2019 The state Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Responsibility began investigating Northcott in June, The Tennessean reports. Kc Baker, PEOPLE.com, "Tenn. D.A. Who Made Anti-Gay Comments Won't Bring Charges in Suicide of Boy Outed by Classmates," 21 Nov. 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

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Investigate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/investigatory?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=i&file=invest09. Accessed 9 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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Comments on investigate

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