Definition of investigate in English:

investigate

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Carry out a systematic or formal inquiry to discover and examine the facts of (an incident, allegation, etc.) so as to establish the truth.

    ‘police are investigating the alleged beating’
    • ‘The Home Office also revealed the Police Complaints Authority - which investigates serious incidents and allegations of malpractice - is reviewing the high accident level.’
    • ‘Swindon police confirmed they are investigating the incident, which happened on Wednesday, June 16.’
    • ‘Police are investigating the incident but at this stage believe the fire started when a cigarette was dropped onto a lounge suite.’
    • ‘A second man has been arrested by police investigating alleged election fraud in Oldham.’
    • ‘It is understood Croydon police are currently investigating the allegations and have spoken to the pupil, believed to be five years old.’
    • ‘The Canadian Judicial Council has the power to establish seminars and investigate complaints.’
    • ‘When the police were investigating the incident they discovered safe-breaking equipment in the dormobile.’
    • ‘President Thabo Mbeki is expected to receive a formal request today to investigate these allegations.’
    • ‘Two men were arrested earlier in the election by police investigating allegations of election fraud and of stealing ballot papers.’
    • ‘In a separate incident, police investigating the death of a newborn baby found in a stream in England said they were still desperate to find his mother.’
    • ‘An immediate independent inquiry must be established to investigate Robb's allegations.’
    • ‘Although the incident is not being treated as suspicious, police are investigating events leading up to it to establish where the drink came from.’
    • ‘He has also been bailed by police investigating allegations that he falsified documents relating to blood tests ordered by worried parents.’
    • ‘Police investigated allegations that the incident involved violence.’
    • ‘Swindon police are investigating the incident that happened on Saturday around 9pm.’
    • ‘North Yorkshire police were today investigating allegations that a protester was attacked during a Boxing Day hunt in the county.’
    • ‘The couple was told the CCTV camera was not working but police say they are investigating the allegation.’
    • ‘The discovery was made after police investigating an unrelated incident in the area contacted social services staff.’
    • ‘The film has been handed to the Bolton Evening News and the police, who are investigating the alleged incident.’
    enquire into, look into, go into, look over, probe, explore, scrutinize, conduct an investigation into, conduct an enquiry into, make enquiries about, try to get to the bottom of
    inspect, analyse, study, examine, consider, research, search the evidence concerning, sift the evidence concerning, pore over, delve into
    audit, evaluate
    follow up
    check out, suss out, give something the once-over
    scope out
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Carry out research or study into (a subject, typically one in a scientific or academic field) so as to discover facts or information.
      [with clause] ‘future studies will investigate whether long-term use of the drugs could prevent cancer’
      • ‘It seems we remain a little coy about investigating one of our most basic drives and motivators.’
      • ‘Rademacher also wrote important papers on Dedekind sums and investigated many problems relating to algebraic number fields.’
      • ‘In this way researchers have the opportunity to investigate the subject intensively and profoundly.’
      • ‘Over the next eight weeks this new series explores our body and investigates the current issues facing the world of health and medicine.’
      • ‘We investigated these issues in a case-control study of acute leukaemia in England.’
      • ‘Few studies have investigated this subject in relation to Ramadan.’
      • ‘CEOs were called to testify, while a research staff investigated the basic issues involved.’
      • ‘The goal of the present study was to investigate the foregoing issues.’
      • ‘The number of studies investigating the wealth effects of relocation on valuation of companies is limited.’
      • ‘He was the first of four head teachers to give evidence to the education overview and scrutiny committee, which is investigating the issue.’
      • ‘The community services committee has set up a panel of six members to investigate the growing problem of dog mess.’
      • ‘By the study of his teachings one learns to investigate ones different mental states which change very rapidly.’
      • ‘Simm plays a human rights researcher investigating the plight of women being trafficked through Europe.’
      • ‘Choi said the more he investigated the subject of blood types, the more conflicting information he received.’
      • ‘Ehrenreich's book investigates the plight of some of the low-wage workers studied by the EPI report.’
      • ‘Future research needs to investigate whether cost effective strategies can be designed that produce similar results.’
      • ‘Although his condition is now stable, Mrs Tonge remains with him at the hospital while doctors investigate the problem.’
      • ‘Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, investigated the issue.’
      • ‘Young people from London, Great Yarmouth and Wolverhampton will also feature in the one-hour special, which investigates the problems faced by teenagers today.’
      • ‘A future study investigating a broader range of psychopathologies is clearly warranted.’
      enquire into, look into, go into, look over, probe, explore, scrutinize, conduct an investigation into, conduct an enquiry into, make enquiries about, try to get to the bottom of
      inspect, analyse, study, examine, consider, research, search the evidence concerning, sift the evidence concerning, pore over, delve into
      audit, evaluate
      follow up
      check out, suss out, give something the once-over
      scope out
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Make inquiries as to the character, activities, or background of (someone)
      ‘everyone with a possible interest in your brother's death must be thoroughly investigated’
      • ‘Why would the French detain him and investigate him under these very strict terrorist laws?’
      • ‘He has often been accused of collaboration, though he was investigated and officially cleared after the war.’
      • ‘Elem made a note to himself to further investigate the kid's background details.’
      • ‘When Tobin Keller begins to investigate her, he is faced with a blank sheet.’
      • ‘Anyone investigating me could find out that my immediate boss was named Jill.’
      • ‘Previously he was investigated for a number of attacks, drug dealing and assaults.’
      • ‘He was investigated by police after Fabiani's personal details appeared on a website in 2000.’
      • ‘We are investigating him for possible links to international gun - running.’
      • ‘I don't draw attention to myself in public, and therefore I don't think I'm fair game for anyone to investigate me.’
      • ‘If your job was important, the leaders would investigate the background and performance of your prospective mate.’
      • ‘He knew, he'd been investigating her for a much longer than a few hours.’
      • ‘The Banglamung Immigration Department is also now investigating him for possible visa related legal action.’
      • ‘They knew I always tried to keep tabs on any agency investigating me.’
      • ‘He was investigated by Dr. Stevenson when he was five years old.’
      • ‘I though about how to get revenge on him for about a week, and investigated his background.’
      • ‘He had his clearance suspended for six months while he was investigated.’
      • ‘She said she never saw Dr Kerr again and only reported the incident when she learned police were investigating him.’
      • ‘He had the Shar woman up against the wall and was thoroughly investigating her for concealed weapons.’
      • ‘Caitlin allowed herself the leisure of investigating him more closely.’
      • ‘Mitterrand had picked Magoudi after asking intelligence agents to investigate him.’
      enquire into, look into, go into, look over, probe, explore, scrutinize, conduct an investigation into, conduct an enquiry into, make enquiries about, try to get to the bottom of
      inspect, analyse, study, examine, consider, research, search the evidence concerning, sift the evidence concerning, pore over, delve into
      audit, evaluate
      follow up
      check out, suss out, give something the once-over
      scope out
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3[no object] Make a check to find out something.
      ‘when you didn't turn up, I thought I'd better come back to investigate’
      • ‘He said the federal government will be involved in helping and in investigating.’
      • ‘Detectives are still investigating, and have set up an e-mail address to encourage further witnesses to come forward.’
      • ‘Officers from Operation Stealth, which was set up to deal with drug-related gun crime in the city, were investigating.’
      • ‘Ministry officials said both the Anglican School Board and the school's supervisor were investigating.’
      • ‘No one was in the car stepping on the brake pedal and after investigating, it became clear to me that for some reason the light was stuck on.’
      • ‘Illegal parking on the railway bridge needs investigating.’
      • ‘Tameside council auditors uncovered the payments during a routine check and may ask the Inland Revenue to investigate.’
      • ‘The police at Clontarf are investigating and are appealing for information.’
      • ‘That is not inappropriate, if key service issues are to be properly tested and investigated.’
      • ‘He said he would this week tour Western Province to investigate and have an on-the-spot check of the situation.’
      • ‘The networks are all owned by big corporations, and that makes investigating harder.’
      • ‘Sgt Stuart, of the Besson Street Station, is investigating, and said arrests into the murder should be made soon.’
      • ‘He phoned the Gardai in Claremorris before investigating further.’
      • ‘There's also the laboratory in which medicines are tested and illnesses investigated.’
      • ‘Something is tying that we don't know about, but we are hoping that the FBI is investigating.’
      • ‘So, what was the FBI originally investigating, exactly, and will that case ever break?’
      • ‘Does that mean that he's removed from any possibility or just not a suspect at the time you were investigating?’
      • ‘The FBI and the Transportation Security Administration are investigating.’
      • ‘The force received an anonymous tip-off and began investigating.’
      • ‘Coronet Foods has been aggressively investigating and taking corrective action.’

Origin

Early 16th century: from Latin investigat- traced out from the verb investigare, from in- into + vestigare track, trace out.

Pronunciation:

investigate

/inˈvestəˌɡāt/