- 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.
- to make inquiry, examination, or investigation.
Origin of investigate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for investigatory
Shockingly, a black man must reach age 50 before his risk of an investigatory stop drops to that of a 25-year-old white man.
Overall, black drivers are nearly three times more likely than whites to be subjected to investigatory stops.
An inquiry into—ah—certain facets of past investigatory methods.We're Friends, Now
They glittered then with a strange cold light, those variegated orbs, but their ordinary expression was earnest and investigatory.Miriam Monfort
Catherine A. Warfield
He became acutely aware of his disfigured face, and felt his swelling bruises with a limp, investigatory hand.
Suddenly he started out of a vague reverie and pressed an investigatory hand to his side.
The investigatory expedition to the ominous red spot of the giant of the solar system was on.The Red Hell of Jupiter
- to inquire into (a situation or problem, esp a crime or death) thoroughly; examine systematically, esp in order to discover the truth
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
Word Origin and History for investigatory
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