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[in-kwahyuh r-ee, in-kwuh-ree] /ɪnˈkwaɪər i, ˈɪn kwə ri/
noun, plural inquiries.
a seeking or request for truth, information, or knowledge.
an investigation, as into an incident:
a Congressional inquiry into the bribery charges.
the act of inquiring or of seeking information by questioning; interrogation.
a question; query.
Also, enquiry.
Origin of inquiry
late Middle English
1400-50; inquire + -y3; replacing late Middle English enquery
Related forms
reinquiry, noun, plural reinquiries.
Can be confused
inquiry, query.
1. study, scrutiny, exploration. See investigation.
4. answer, reply. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for inquiry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To the corporal's inquiry he replied that Ferry had just passed on.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • But Lady Hunter did not know the facts about the church-door, on which the inquiry was based.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • He had to face his landlord with some explanation of the bank's inquiry.

  • I cannot explain why I hesitated to press my first inquiry as to where the men were.

    Mizora: A Prophecy Mary E. Bradley
  • Soon will the poison of knowledge and inquiry be communicated to all classes.

    Faustus Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger
British Dictionary definitions for inquiry


noun (pl) -ries
a request for information; a question
an investigation, esp a formal one conducted into a matter of public concern by a body constituted for that purpose by a government, local authority, or other organization
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inquiry

mid-15c., enquery, from enquere (see inquire). Respelled from mid-16c. to conform to Latin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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