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investigate

[in-ves-ti-geyt]
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verb (used with object), in·ves·ti·gat·ed, in·ves·ti·gat·ing.
  1. to examine, study, or inquire into systematically; search or examine into the particulars of; examine in detail.
  2. 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.
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verb (used without object), in·ves·ti·gat·ed, in·ves·ti·gat·ing.
  1. to make inquiry, examination, or investigation.
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Origin of investigate

1500–10; < Latin investīgātus, past participle of investīgāre to follow a trail, search out. See in-2, vestige, -ate1
Related formsin·ves·ti·ga·tive, in·ves·ti·ga·to·ry [in-ves-ti-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈvɛs tɪ gəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivein·ves·ti·ga·tor, nounpre·in·ves·ti·gate, verb, pre·in·ves·ti·gat·ed, pre·in·ves·ti·gat·ing.pre·in·ves·ti·ga·tor, nounqua·si-in·ves·ti·gat·ed, adjectivere·in·ves·ti·gate, verb, re·in·ves·ti·gat·ed, re·in·ves·ti·gat·ing.un·in·ves·ti·gat·ed, adjectiveun·in·ves·ti·gat·ing, adjectiveun·in·ves·ti·ga·tive, adjectiveun·in·ves·ti·ga·to·ry, adjectivewell-in·ves·ti·gat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

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

Examples from the Web for investigator

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The investigator is not necessarily a historian, any more than a lumberman is an architect.

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

  • She frowned under it without animosity, in the manner of an investigator.

    Under Western Eyes

    Joseph Conrad

  • This upheaval in the South, according to an investigator, will be helpful to all.

  • Just what kind of an investigator do you take me for, Tapkins?

    Janet of the Dunes

    Harriet T. Comstock

  • He becomes a chairman, an investigator, a committee man, and a debater.

    The Arena

    Various


British Dictionary definitions for investigator

investigator

noun
  1. a person who investigates, such as a private detective
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investigate

verb
  1. to inquire into (a situation or problem, esp a crime or death) thoroughly; examine systematically, esp in order to discover the truth
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Derived Formsinvestigable, adjectiveinvestigative or investigatory, adjective

Word Origin

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 investigator

n.

1550s, a native agent-noun formation from investigate, or else from Latin investigator "he that searches into," agent noun from past participle stem of investigare (see investigation).

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investigate

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper