Meaning of INQUIRY in English



also en·quiry ˈinˌkwī]rē, ə̇nˈkwī], ˈinkwə], -ri sometimes ˈiŋkwə] or ˈinˌkwi]\

( -es )

Etymology: alteration of Middle English enquery, from enqueren + -y

1. : the act or an instance of seeking truth, information, or knowledge about something : examination into facts or principles : research , investigation

complete freedom of inquiry

the scientific method of inquiry — C.W.Eliot

the most modern of inquiries, the study of the cosmic rays — K.K.Darrow

an inquiry into the nature of truth

specifically : a formal or official investigation of a matter of public interest by a body (as a legislative committee) with power to compel testimony

witnesses convicted of contempt of congressional inquiries — Current Biography

2. : the act or an instance of asking for information : a request for information : query , question

upon inquiry , I learned that he was out

the information desk receives many inquiries

would not answer my inquiry


inquisition , investigation , inquest , probe , research : inquiry is a general term applicable to any quest for truth, knowledge, or information

make inquiries about a prospective employee

they made inquiries, and learned that Wild Bill was then in the Mint saloon — S.H.Holbrook

a letter of inquiry to the authorities

the True, which is the goal of all scientific and all philosophical inquiry — W.R.Inge

inquisition suggests a sustained search, thorough and often unrelenting, for hidden facts; it may apply to merciless unremitting volleys of questions

an inquisition into the bankruptcy proceedings

the investigating committee subjecting him to a long inquisition

investigation may apply to a sustained and systematic inquiry, especially of some specific proceeding

an auditor investigation of the reported shortages

the conduct of men in important areas may often be very legitimately subject to properly conducted Congressional investigation — Norman Thomas

by their bullying tactics, by their having turned needed investigations into regrettable inquisitions — John Mason Brown

inquest , once in more general use as a close synonym for inquiry , now usually applies to an investigation, often by a coroner and his jury, into a cause of death or to a similar investigation into something disastrous or troubling

it turned out on a final inquest that the learned lecturer had translated his piece into English — H.J.Laski

it was decided at the inquest that the deceased had committed suicide

an inquest on the fall of Singapore and the sinking of H.M.S. Repulse and H.M.S. Prince of Wales — New Yorker

probe , in this sense, may apply to any deep, painstaking inquiry to discover something wrong or improper

a probe resulting in the disbarring of several attorneys

a probe into improper tax refunds

research applies to careful, prolonged study, especially to uncover new knowledge

research has shown and practice has established the futility of the charge that it was a usurpation when this Court undertook to declare an Act of Congress unconstitutional — O.W.Holmes †1935

the researches … in the 17th century into the theory of probabilities greatly advanced the accuracy of calculations — Encyc. Americana

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.