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.
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).