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inquire

[in-kwahyuh r] /ɪnˈkwaɪər/
verb (used without object), inquired, inquiring.
1.
to seek information by questioning; ask:
to inquire about a person.
2.
to make investigation (usually followed by into):
to inquire into the incident.
verb (used with object), inquired, inquiring.
3.
to seek to learn by asking:
to inquire a person's name.
4.
Obsolete. to seek.
5.
Obsolete. to question (a person).
Verb phrases
6.
inquire after, to ask about the state of health or condition of:
Friends have been calling all morning to inquire after you.
Also, enquire.
Origin of inquire
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Latin inquīrere to seek for (see in-2, query); replacing Middle English enqueren < Old French enquerre < Latin, as above
Related forms
inquirable, adjective
inquirer, noun
reinquire, verb, reinquired, reinquiring.
uninquired, adjective
Can be confused
inquirer, inquisitor.
Synonyms
1–3. investigate, examine, query. Inquire, ask, question imply that a person addresses another to obtain information. Ask is the general word: to ask what time it is. Inquire is more formal and implies asking about something specific: to inquire about a rumor. To question implies repetition and persistence in asking; it often applies to legal examination or investigation: to question the survivor of an accident. Sometimes it implies doubt: to question a figure, an account.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for inquirers
Historical Examples
  • A family pride, either innate or acquired, leads other inquirers to their task.

  • It was not long before people were giving their names as inquirers.

    Have We No Rights? Mabel Williamson
  • The little crowd of inquirers around Mrs. Gibson thickened, to hear her confirm their disappointing surmise.

    Wives and Daughters Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • It was best to assume they were a penitent band of inquirers for the truth.

    A Voice in the Wilderness Grace Livingston Hill
  • Neither of the inquirers was surprised at this, for they had fully expected it.

    The Come Back Carolyn Wells
  • Young Gedge was amongst the most eager of the inquirers at the house.

    Reginald Cruden Talbot Baines Reed
  • Dick Grant, ship's doctor and therefore free of access to inquirers, underwent a searching examination from all and sundry.

    To Love Margaret Peterson
  • Most inquirers are chiefly interested in the morals—or immorals—of these nomads.

    The Gypsies Charles G. Leland
  • He told all inquirers that his store had been closed by orders of the Chief, and that he himself was very busy.

  • Most of the inquirers no doubt are people who will not go further with the idea than to play with it.

    A Floating Home Cyril Ionides
British Dictionary definitions for inquirers

inquire

/ɪnˈkwaɪə/
verb
1.
  1. to seek information; ask: she inquired his age, she inquired about rates of pay
  2. (foll by of) to ask (a person) for information: I'll inquire of my aunt when she is coming
2.
(intransitive) often foll by into. to make a search or investigation
Derived Forms
inquirer, enquirer, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Latin inquīrere from in-² + quaerere to seek
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 inquirers

inquire

v.

late 13c., from Old French enquerre "ask, inquire about" (Modern French enquérir), from Vulgar Latin *inquaerere, from Latin in- "into" (see in- (2)) + quaerere "ask, seek" (see query (v.)). Respelled 14c. on Latin model, but half-Latinized enquire still persists. Related: Inquired; inquiring; inquiringly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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