Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[in-ves-ti-geyt] /ɪnˈvɛs tɪˌgeɪt/
verb (used with object), investigated, investigating.
to examine, study, or inquire into systematically; search or examine into the particulars of; examine in detail.
to search out and examine the particulars of in an attempt to learn the facts about something hidden, unique, or complex, especially in an attempt to find a motive, cause, or culprit:
The police are investigating the murder.
verb (used without object), investigated, investigating.
to make inquiry, examination, or investigation.
Origin of investigate
1500-10; < Latin investīgātus, past participle of investīgāre to follow a trail, search out. See in-2, vestige, -ate1
Related forms
investigative, investigatory
[in-ves-ti-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈvɛs tɪ gəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
investigator, noun
preinvestigate, verb, preinvestigated, preinvestigating.
preinvestigator, noun
quasi-investigated, adjective
reinvestigate, verb, reinvestigated, reinvestigating.
uninvestigated, adjective
uninvestigating, adjective
uninvestigative, adjective
uninvestigatory, adjective
well-investigated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for investigate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The game has been located, and Sir Donald can investigate at leisure.

    Oswald Langdon Carson Jay Lee
  • He resolved to investigate the subject some time when he had leisure.

  • Every mind should be true to itself—should think, investigate and conclude for itself.

    Individuality Robert G. Ingersoll
  • In the meanwhile, I am going to investigate that old ark myself.

    The Inn at the Red Oak Latta Griswold
  • Some of them went over the table in their eagerness to investigate.

    Bulldog Carney W. A. Fraser
British Dictionary definitions for investigate


to inquire into (a situation or problem, esp a crime or death) thoroughly; examine systematically, esp in order to discover the truth
Derived Forms
investigable, adjective
investigative, investigatory, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin investīgāre to search after, from in-² + vestīgium track; see vestige
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for investigate

c.1500, back-formation from investigation, or else from Latin investigatus, past participle of investigare "to trace out, search after" (see investigation). Related: Investigated; investigating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for investigate

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for investigate

Scrabble Words With Friends