[ in-kwahyuh r-ing ]
/ ɪnˈkwaɪər ɪŋ /


seeking facts, information, or knowledge: an inquiring mind.
curious; probing; inquisitive in seeking facts: an inquiring reporter.
scrutinizing; questioning: He looked at his father with inquiring eyes.

Origin of inquiring

First recorded in 1595–1605; inquire + -ing2

Related forms

in·quir·ing·ly, adverbnon·in·quir·ing, adjectivenon·in·quir·ing·ly, adverbun·in·quir·ing, adjective

Definition for inquiring (2 of 2)


[ in-kwahyuhr ]
/ ɪnˈkwaɪər /

verb (used without object), in·quired, in·quir·ing.

to seek information by questioning; ask: to inquire about a person.
to make investigation (usually followed by into): to inquire into the incident.

verb (used with object), in·quired, in·quir·ing.

to seek to learn by asking: to inquire a person's name.
Obsolete. to seek.
Obsolete. to question (a person).

Verb Phrases

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


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.

Related forms

in·quir·a·ble, adjectivein·quir·er, nounre·in·quire, verb, re·in·quired, re·in·quir·ing.un·in·quired, adjective

Can be confused

inquirer inquisitor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inquiring

British Dictionary definitions for inquiring (1 of 2)


/ (ɪnˈkwaɪərɪŋ) /


seeking or tending to seek answers, information, etcan inquiring mind

Derived Forms

inquiringly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for inquiring (2 of 2)



/ (ɪnˈkwaɪə) /


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

Derived Forms

inquirer 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