Definition of “investigate” - English Dictionary

“investigate” in British English

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investigateverb [ T ]

uk /ɪnˈves.tɪ.ɡeɪt/ us /ɪnˈves.tə.ɡeɪt/

B2 to examine a crime, problem, statement, etc. carefully, especially to discover the truth:

Police are investigating allegations of corruption involving senior executives.
[ + question word ] We are of course investigating how an error like this could have occurred.

More examples

  • Scotland Yard have been called in to investigate the murder.
  • The remit of this official inquiry is to investigate the reasons for the accident.
  • The government set up a commission to investigate the problem of inner city violence.
  • The UN is investigating new methods of population control .
  • I wonder what that noise was in the kitchen - I'd better go and investigate.

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

“investigate” in American English

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investigateverb [ I/T ]

us /ɪnˈves·tɪˌɡeɪt/

to examine something carefully, esp. to discover the truth about it:

[ I ] There was a suspicious man near the playground, and we asked the police to investigate.
investigator
noun [ C ] us /ɪnˈves·tɪˌɡeɪ·t̬ər/

She hired a private investigator to check into her husband’s activities.

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

“investigate” in Business English

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investigateverb

uk /ɪnˈvestɪɡeɪt/ us

[ I or T ] to examine a crime, problem, statement, etc. carefully, especially to discover the truth:

The FBI was called in to investigate.
Detectives will continue to investigate the incident.
investigate allegations/claims/complaints of sth The office is investigating the allegations of embezzlement.
investigate how/whether/why The commission will investigate whether these companies violated anti-trust laws.

[ T ] to try to discover the truth about someone who is accused of a crime:

investigate sb for sth The IRS are investigating Williams for alleged tax fraud.
investigator
noun [ C ]

Investigators discovered that the bank had covered up massive bad loans.

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