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[in-ves-ti-gey-shuh n] /ɪnˌvɛs tɪˈgeɪ ʃən/
the act or process of investigating or the condition of being investigated.
a searching inquiry for ascertaining facts; detailed or careful examination.
Origin of investigation
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English investigacio(u)n < Latin investīgātiōn- (stem of investīgātiō). See investigate, -ion
Related forms
investigational, adjective
preinvestigation, noun
reinvestigation, noun
1, 2. scrutiny, exploration. Investigation, examination, inquiry, research express the idea of an active effort to find out something. An investigation is a systematic, minute, and thorough attempt to learn the facts about something complex or hidden; it is often formal and official: an investigation of a bank failure. An examination is an orderly attempt to obtain information about or to make a test of something, often something presented for observation: a physical examination. An inquiry is an investigation made by asking questions rather than by inspection, or by study of available evidence: an inquiry into a proposed bond issue. Research is careful and sustained investigation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for investigation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I had but to demand an investigation into the man's affairs.

  • The investigation had been brought about by a note one of the Stewards had received.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • The Trainer pursued his investigation among the stable lads.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • The commotion of pursuit and investigation was sweeping past her tent.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • And you really think that the investigation should be made in that direction?

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for investigation


the act or process of investigating; a careful search or examination in order to discover facts, etc
Derived Forms
investigational, adjective
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 investigation

early 15c., from Old French investigacion (14c.), from Latin investigationem (nominative investigatio) "a searching into, a searching for," noun of action from past participle stem of investigare "to trace out, search after," from in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + vestigare "to track, trace," from vestigium "footprint, track" (see vestige).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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