private investigator


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

Similarly, an interview with private investigators is not testimony, meaning a witness who agrees to answer questions from investigators wouldn’t tell his or her perspective under penalty of perjury. Michael Mccann,, "Examining Every Aspect of the Luke Walton Investigation and Considering Next Steps," 27 Aug. 2019 During that probe, at least three private investigators who police believed were working on Epstein's behalf tracked down accusers and possible witnesses to the alleged attacks, according to police reports. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein's bail hearing will determine how he spends his time until trial," 15 July 2019 Krysten Ritter packed on ten pounds of muscle to play the hard-drinking, promiscuous private investigator with superpowers and a tragic past. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Jessica Jones S3 is flawed but packs a powerful payoff in the end," 24 June 2019 Ruvalcaba allegedly began a relationship with the teenager, which was uncovered after his wife hired a private investigator to look into it, said Glenn County District Attorney Dwayne Stewart. Jake Hutchison, The Mercury News, "Trial for Northern California man suspected of kidnapping, murdering 16-year-old girl moved to January," 21 Aug. 2019 Family also hired a private investigator and set up tip boxes around Garrard County in hopes of finding answers. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Six months after Savannah Spurlock disappeared, her body is found. Here's what to know," 11 July 2019 Frustrated by how the case had been handled, the family tried at one point to raise money on GoFundMe to hire a private investigator., "A Mouseketeer mystery: Dennis Day’s extraordinary life and heartbreaking death," 6 July 2019 Murray, the private investigator previously in charge of Barb’s case, was the first person to mention the possibility of a Russian presence in Hawkins. Kathryn Lindsay,, "R29 Binge Club: Stranger Things Season 3," 5 July 2019 Court filings reveal Epstein was also under investigation for potential witness tampering after one of his private investigators allegedly forced a victim's father off the road. Brynn Gingras, CNN, "Jeffrey Epstein was accused of sexual misconduct over a decade ago. What's happened since then?," 10 July 2019

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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Statistics for private investigator

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

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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


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


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)

More from Merriam-Webster on private investigator

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for private investigator

Spanish Central: Translation of private investigator

Comments on private investigator

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