[ in-kwahyuhr ]
See synonyms for: inquireinquiresinquiringinquirer on

verb (used without object),in·quired, in·quir·ing.
  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),in·quired, in·quir·ing.
  1. to seek to learn by asking: to inquire a person's name.

  2. Obsolete. to seek.

  1. Obsolete. to question (a person).

Verb Phrases
  1. inquire after, to ask about the state of health or condition of: Friends have been calling all morning to inquire after you.

Origin of inquire

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Latin inquīrere “to seek for” (see in-2, query); replacing Middle English enqueren, from Old French enquerre, from Latin, as above

synonym study For inquire

1-3. 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 examinationor investigation: to question the survivor of an accident. Sometimes it implies doubt: to question a figure, an account.

Other words for inquire

Other words from inquire

  • in·quir·a·ble, adjective
  • in·quir·er, noun
  • re·in·quire, verb, re·in·quired, re·in·quir·ing.
  • un·in·quired, adjective

Words that may be confused with inquire

Words Nearby inquire Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use inquire in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for inquire



/ (ɪnˈkwaɪə) /

    • to seek information; ask: she inquired his age; she inquired about rates of pay

    • (foll by of) to ask (a person) for information: I'll inquire of my aunt when she is coming

  1. (intr often foll by into) to make a search or investigation

Origin of inquire

C13: from Latin inquīrere from in- ² + quaerere to seek

Derived forms of inquire

  • inquirer or enquirer, noun

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