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

Other Words from investigate

investigation \ in-​ˌve-​stə-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce investigate (audio) \ noun
investigative \ in-​ˈve-​stə-​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce investigate (audio) \ adjective
investigatory \ in-​ˈve-​sti-​gə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce investigate (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 The mother is in police custody while Utah Highway Patrol continues to investigate. Aaron Falk, The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 Jan. 2022 The NFL Players Association plans to investigate Brown's claims against Buccaneers, although Brown has not contacted the players' union. Scooby Axson, USA TODAY, 8 Jan. 2022 Authorities are continuing to investigate the cause of the fire, which destroyed 1,084 homes and damaged another 149, according to the Boulder Office of Disaster Management. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 7 Jan. 2022 Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shanon Banner confirmed the department will investigate Chatfield after the Lansing Police Department referred a complaint to the state agency. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 7 Jan. 2022 The Huntsville Police Department is asking state authorities to investigate an incident involving an off-duty officer and a death. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, 7 Jan. 2022 And a House select committee continues to investigate the events leading up to the riots. Maegan Vazquez, CNN, 6 Jan. 2022 With no independent commission, the U.S. House created its own panel, which has continued to investigate and is expected to deliver results this year. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Jan. 2022 JC Tretter said the union will investigate Brown’s claims. Rob Maaddi, ajc, 6 Jan. 2022

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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Dictionary Entries Near investigate

investigatable

investigate

investigational

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Statistics for investigate

Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Investigate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/investigate. Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for investigate

investigate

verb

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 investigate (audio) \ noun
investigative \ in-​ˈves-​tə-​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce investigate (audio) \ adjective
investigator \ -​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce investigate (audio) \ noun
investigatory \ in-​ˈves-​tə-​gə-​ˌtōr-​ē How to pronounce investigate (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on investigate

Nglish: Translation of investigate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of investigate for Arabic Speakers

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