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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
  • Anthropological inquiry has uncovered flood recall among all different cultures around the world.
  • Mayor describes herself as a folklorist who studies the earliest inklings of scientific inquiry.
  • The inquiry did not prove to be the full exoneration he sought and which he continued to seek for the remainder of his life.
  • The report has not yet been made public, but the government is furious that an independent inquiry took place at all.
  • Exactly what effect they have on people's behaviour, though, is seldom a topic of scientific inquiry.
  • After the crash, the government promised a full inquiry, and corrective action where required.
  • The official inquiry into the government's handling of mad cow disease has finally reported.
  • But the voice of our age seems by no means favorable to art, at all events to that kind of art to which my inquiry is directed.
  • But the public sensibility, and our own, has sharpened the spirit of inquiry and given an animation to the debate.
  • The reader's first inquiry will be as to the qualifications of the editor.
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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