• synonyms


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.
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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.
  3. Obsolete. to question (a person).
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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.
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Also enquire.

Origin of inquire

1250–1300; Middle English < Latin inquīrere to seek for (see in-2, query); replacing Middle English enqueren < Old French enquerre < Latin, as above
Related formsin·quir·a·ble, adjectivein·quir·er, nounre·in·quire, verb, re·in·quired, re·in·quir·ing.un·in·quired, adjective
Can be confusedinquirer inquisitor

Synonyms for inquire

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for inquirers

detective, spy, attorney, gumshoe, quester, examiner, researcher, investigator, inquisitor, agent, police, sleuth, snooper, auditor, reviewer, inspector, hound, analyst, tester, prosecutor

Examples from the Web for inquirers

Historical Examples of inquirers

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

    The Gypsies

    Charles G. Leland

  • Next evening saw the two inquirers back at their hotel in Hull.

    The Pit Prop Syndicate

    Freeman Wills Crofts

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

    Have We No Rights?

    Mabel Williamson

  • It was best to assume they were a penitent band of inquirers for the truth.

    A Voice in the Wilderness

    Grace Livingston Hill

  • Names and addresses of correspondents will not be given to inquirers.

British Dictionary definitions for inquirers



    1. to seek information; askshe inquired his age; she inquired about rates of pay
    2. (foll by of)to ask (a person) for informationI'll inquire of my aunt when she is coming
  1. (intr often foll by into) to make a search or investigation
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Derived Formsinquirer or enquirer, noun

Word Origin for inquire

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

Word Origin and History for inquirers



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper