private investigator

noun

Definition of private investigator 

: a person not a member of a police force who is licensed to do detective work (such as investigation of suspected wrongdoing or searching for missing persons)

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Examples of private investigator in a Sentence

She hired a private investigator to follow her husband. the retired policeman decided to become a private investigator

Recent Examples on the Web

Lisa works as a private investigator of insurance claims. Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stingl: Driver gives money to a down-and-out man and she's amazed by his generous response," 21 June 2018 For some that has meant hiring a private investigator. Helen Ubiñas, Philly.com, "Families of homicide victims, bonded by love | Helen Ubiñas," 13 July 2018 Shafran immediately hired a private investigator to investigate the claims. Charles Rabin, Jay Weaver And David Ovalle, miamiherald, "The chief wanted perfect stats, so cops were told to pin crimes on blacks, probe found," 12 July 2018 USA Swimming had hired a private investigator in 2010 to look into rumors of a relationship between Kukors, then 21, and Hutchison, then 39. Washington Post, "Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her," 21 May 2018 Harris hired a private investigator after becoming suspicious of her husband, who was tracked to the hotel, where he was found with his receptionist, also his mistress. NBC News, "Texas woman who ran over cheating husband is freed from prison," 11 May 2018 Spellacy hired a private investigator to conduct a separate investigation as Cleveland police detectives carried out their probe. Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com, "Victim of apartment beating now says Cleveland Browns receiver Corey Coleman led group to violent ambush," 20 Mar. 2018 That was benign in comparison to other allegations that officers raised with Jessie Scott, the private investigator hired to handle the internal probe . Charles Rabin, Jay Weaver And David Ovalle, miamiherald, "The chief wanted perfect stats, so cops were told to pin crimes on blacks, probe found," 12 July 2018 The charges were filed after a private investigator contacted Zimmerman on behalf the series. Todd Stewart, OrlandoSentinel.com, "'Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story' — new trailer for documentary released," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'private investigator.' 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 private investigator

1940, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for private investigator

The first known use of private investigator was in 1940

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More Definitions for private investigator

private investigator

noun

English Language Learners Definition of private investigator

: someone who works as a detective and who is not a member of a police force

private investigator

noun

Legal Definition of private investigator 

: a person not a member of a police force who is licensed to do detective work (as investigation of suspected wrongdoing or searching for missing persons)

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Spanish Central: Translation of private investigator

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