Definition of investigation in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The action of investigating something or someone; formal or systematic examination or research.

    ‘he is under investigation for receiving illicit funds’
    • ‘A further three people are now under investigation for a series of alleged offences.’
    • ‘Early evaluation did not address this, but such investigation is now under way.’
    • ‘It was under investigation for substandard care and abusive treatment to its patients.’
    • ‘He volunteered not to practise at his surgery while under investigation by the police.’
    • ‘The attack is still under investigation by police and has not been made public until today.’
    • ‘He is under investigation by the Assets Bureau and he needs the lads to help him get to the airport.’
    • ‘Probably at any one time, there is a politician under investigation, or on trial or in prison.’
    • ‘The cause of the fire is under investigation but is not believed to be arson.’
    • ‘A spokesman for the bus company said the incident was still under investigation.’
    • ‘He is also under investigation for opening up bogus shell companies to help his clients hide money.’
    • ‘The cause of a blaze which destroyed a three storey mill in Radcliffe is under investigation.’
    • ‘The second question is whether time needs to be allowed for further investigation.’
    • ‘The fires are being treated as suspicious and are under investigation by police.’
    • ‘The police chief would not elaborate, saying that the matter was under investigation.’
    • ‘These algae occur on a worldwide basis but the final identity is still under investigation.’
    • ‘The Ministry of Defence said the cause of the blast was still under investigation.’
    • ‘The outbreak in Anglesey is at an abattoir which has been under investigation for some time.’
    • ‘The cause of the fire has not been established and is still under investigation.’
    • ‘A faculty member at the university who initiated the study is now under investigation.’
    • ‘The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but it is thought to have started accidentally.’
    examination, enquiry, study, inspection, exploration, consideration, analysis, appraisal
    research, scrutiny, scrutinization, scanning, perusal, sifting, fact-finding
    probe, review, survey, search
    inquest, hearing, questioning, interrogation, inquisition
    audit, evaluation
    snoop, snooping, post-mortem, recce
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun]A formal inquiry or systematic study.
      ‘an investigation into fresh allegations of malpractice’
      ‘a murder investigation’
      • ‘All I can indicate is that he is of interest to us and investigations are continuing.’
      • ‘Two other major investigations of Glasgow City Council employees are still to be carried out.’
      • ‘It seems that it has become a fashion to prescribe costly high tech investigations.’
      • ‘Until such time as a report on these investigations comes to hand then I will suspend judgement.’
      • ‘There is wild talk of inquiries and commissions of investigations in the air.’
      • ‘They are also required to help Symantec in investigations into other counterfeiters.’
      • ‘Updates will follow if further products emerge from the on-going investigations.’
      • ‘Dean says the theft of her laptop was one of a number of unusual events that took place during her investigations.’
      • ‘His investigations have just that effect, and the trawl of weird individuals is phenomenal.’
      • ‘It will also enable local schools and community groups to become involved in the investigations.’
      • ‘After all the inquiries and investigations and demonstrations, he's still there.’
      • ‘Until now the unit's investigations have not considered anyone else being involved.’
      • ‘The building in Sutton will be used for murder investigations and is due to open in January next year.’
      • ‘Certainly the legal systems in some countries present obstacles to investigations.’
      • ‘These are the questions at the centre of the author's tactful, patient investigations.’
      • ‘This is followed by a formal report once all investigations have been completed.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the sauna remains closed as investigations continue into how the fire broke out.’
      • ‘One of the boys concerned has been temporarily excluded pending investigations by the school.’
      • ‘That shortcoming led to the introduction of the Holmes system for major investigations.’
      • ‘An army spokesman would not comment, saying investigations were still going on.’


Late Middle English: from Latin investigatio(n-), from the verb investigare (see investigate).