Meaning of “inquiry” in the English Dictionary

"inquiry" in British English

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inquirynoun

UK also enquiry uk /ɪnˈkwaɪə.ri/ us /ˈɪŋ.kwɚ.i/

inquiry noun (QUESTION)

B1 [ C or U ] (the process of asking) a question:

I've been making inquiries about/into the cost of a round-the-world ticket.
formal Inquiry into the matter is pointless - no one will tell you anything.

More examples

  • Who will be leading the inquiry into the accident?
  • The inquiry found evidence of serious misapplication of funds.
  • The nomination of Judge Watkins as head of the inquiry was a surprise.
  • There is to be an official inquiry into the incident.
  • A new team of detectives were called in to conduct a fresh inquiry.

(Definition of “inquiry” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"inquiry" in American English

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inquirynoun [ C/U ]

also enquiry us /ɪnˈkwɑɪər·i, ˈɪn·kwə·ri/

the act of asking for information:

[ C ] I’ve made inquiries about the cost of a ticket.

An inquiry is also an official attempt to discover the facts about something.

(Definition of “inquiry” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"inquiry" in Business English

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inquirynoun

uk /ɪnˈkwaɪəri/ us plural inquiries UK also enquiry plural enquiries

[ C ] a question or request for information about someone or something:

receive/get an inquiry The company has received more than 1,000 inquiries since they launched the insurance policy last month.
make an inquiry about sth We have received hundreds of calls from people making inquiries about availability of the product.
inquiries from sb A customer-relations service answers 2,000 inquiries from the public each week.
customer/media inquiry Please note that this number is for media inquiries only.
to answer/deal with/handle inquiries
a telephone/email inquiry
initial/preliminary/further inquiries
general/specific inquiries

[ U ] the process of asking a question or asking for information about someone or something:

On further inquiry, the company was told that the contracts had been cancelled.

[ C ] GOVERNMENT an official process to discover the facts about something, especially something bad that has happened:

hold/launch/open an inquiry into sth The Competitions Commission will hold an inquiry into the incident.
The Council has set up an independent inquiry which will show the effect of closure of the plant.

[ C or U ] IT an attempt to find information that is kept electronically:

The database management system offers a facility for on-line update and inquiry.
line of inquiry plural lines of inquiry

a way of finding out information:

The company is pursuing its own lines of inquiry into the fraud.

(Definition of “inquiry” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)