in·​qui·​ry in-ˈkwī(-ə)r-ē How to pronounce inquiry (audio)
ˈin-kwə-rē How to pronounce inquiry (audio)
plural inquiries
: a request for information
: a systematic investigation often of a matter of public interest
: examination into facts or principles : research

Example Sentences

Discovered when Galileo Galilei turned the first astronomical telescope to the heavens in 1610, the Jovian system has been a focus of scientific inquiry ever since. Chad Galts, Brown Alumni Monthly, November 1996
… his head was tilted at the precise angle of inquiry as to where he should put Muhlenberg's drink. Theodore Sturgeon, E Pluribus Unicorn, (1953) 1965
… distinguish between legitimate legislative inquiry into the acts of a man … and illegitimate inquiry into opinions … Norman Thomas, New Republic, 28 Feb. 1955
She refused to answer inquiries from the media about her marriage. The board ordered an inquiry to determine whether the rules had been followed. Further inquiry showed that he had visited the city twice before. The police are pursuing a new line of inquiry. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Jones’ legal team conducted its own inquiry into the shooting after LAPD investigators found the available evidence inconclusive and cleared Bueno of wrongdoing. Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2023 So far, at least two building inspectors are among the suspects under scrutiny, suggesting that the government could broaden its inquiry. Safak Timur, New York Times, 23 Feb. 2023 The committee on ethics, however, has promised to provide an update on its inquiry into Ocasio-Cortez sometime after its first meeting of the new Congress. Zach Everson, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2023 In 2021, the House January 6 committee sought to obtain Trump White House records from the National Archives as part of its inquiry into the attack on the Capitol that year. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 7 Feb. 2023 Police kept in touch with Scarlett and provided evidence from its own inquiry into the presence of St. Nick in her neighborhood on Dec. 24 — a black and white picture of a large deer from a trail camera. Carlos R. Muñoz,, 1 Feb. 2023 The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has had a couple recent successful prosecutions in its inquiry into Trump, though the former president has yet to be charged with anything. Aaron Katersky, ABC News, 30 Jan. 2023 The Federal Election Commission in 2021 closed its own inquiry into the payoff after its members deadlocked. Dallas News, 30 Jan. 2023 In September, Israel announced the results of its inquiry into the death of Abu Akleh, who was shot in the head while covering a military raid near Jenin in May. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, 29 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inquiry.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


see inquire

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of inquiry was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near inquiry

Cite this Entry

“Inquiry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​qui·​ry in-ˈkwī(ə)r-ē How to pronounce inquiry (audio) ˈin-ˌkwī(ə)r- How to pronounce inquiry (audio)
plural inquiries
: the act of inquiring
learn by inquiry
: a request for information
make inquiries at the station
: a search for truth or knowledge
: a careful examination : investigation

Legal Definition

plural inquiries
: a request for information
such doubt as would cause a reasonable person to make an inquiry
: a systematic official investigation often of a matter of public interest especially by a body (as a legislative committee) with power to compel testimony

More from Merriam-Webster on inquiry

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