What does inquire mean?

Definitions for inquire

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word inquire.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ask, inquire, enquireverb

    inquire about

    "I asked about their special today"; "He had to ask directions several times"

  2. wonder, inquire, enquireverb

    have a wish or desire to know something

    "He wondered who had built this beautiful church"

  3. investigate, inquire, enquireverb

    conduct an inquiry or investigation of

    "The district attorney's office investigated reports of possible irregularities"; "inquire into the disappearance of the rich old lady"


  1. inquireverb

    To ask (about something).

  2. inquireverb

    To make an inquiry or an investigation.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Inquireverb

    Canute had his portion from the rest,
    The which he call'd Canutium, for his hire,
    Now Cantium, which Kent we commonly inquire. F. Qu.

  2. To INQUIREverb

    Etymology: enquirer, French; inquiro, Latin.

    You have oft inquir'd
    After the shepherd that complain'd of love. William Shakespeare.

    We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. Gen.

    They began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. Lu. xxii. 23.

    Inquire for one Saul of Tarsus. Acts ix. 11.

    You sent Hadoram to king David, to inquire of his welfare. Chron. xviii. 10.

    It is a subject of a very noble inquiry, to inquire of the more subtile perceptions; for it is another key to open nature, as well as the house. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist.

    It may deserve our best skill to inquire into those rules, by which we may guide our judgment. Robert South, Sermons.

    The step-dame poison for the son prepares;
    The son inquires into his father's years. Dryden.

    Under their grateful shade Æneas sat;
    His left young Pallas kept, fix'd to his side,
    And oft of winds inquir'd, and of the tide. John Dryden, Æn.

    They are more in danger to go out of the way, who are marching under a guide that will mislead them, than he that is likelier to be prevailed on to inquire after the rightway. John Locke.

    To those who inquired about me, my lover would answer, that I was an old dependent upon his family. Jonathan Swift.

    Awful Rhadamanthus rules the state:
    He hears and judges each committed crime,
    Enquires into the manner, place, and time. John Dryden, Æn.


  1. inquire

    To inquire means to seek information by asking a question or series of questions, either verbally or in writing; it can also refer to conducting an investigation or examination on a particular matter.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Inquireverb

    to ask a question; to seek for truth or information by putting queries

  2. Inquireverb

    to seek to learn anything by recourse to the proper means of knoledge; to make examination

  3. Inquireverb

    to ask about; to seek to know by asking; to make examination or inquiry respecting

  4. Inquireverb

    to call or name

  5. Etymology: [OE. enqueren, inqueren, OF. enquerre, F. enqurir, L. inquirere, inquisitum; pref. in- in + quarere to seek. See Quest a seeking, and cf. Inquiry.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Inquire

    in-kwīr′, v.i. to ask a question: to make an investigation.—v.t. to ask about: to make an examination regarding: (Spens.) to call.—n. (Shak.) a seeking for information.—ns. Inquirā′tion (Dickens), inquiry; Inquiren′do (law), an authority to inquire; Inquir′er.—adj. Inquir′ing, given to inquiry.—adv. Inquir′ingly.—n. Inquir′y, act of inquiring: search for knowledge: investigation; a question.—Writ of inquiry, a writ appointing an inquest. [Fr.,—L. inquirĕrein, in, quærĕre, quæsitum, to seek.]

Editors Contribution

  1. inquire

    A desire to know.

    They did inquire about their neighbours as they cared.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 15, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. Inquire

    Enquire vs. Inquire -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Enquire and Inquire.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce inquire?

How to say inquire in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of inquire in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of inquire in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of inquire in a Sentence

  1. Giovanni Boccaccio, Leitch, Vincent B. ed. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. New York: Norton, 2001.:

    You must read, you must persevere, you must sit up nights, you must inquire, and exert the utmost power of your mind. If one way does not lead to the desired meaning, take another; if obstacles arise, then still another; until, if your strength holds out, you will find that clear which at first looked dark.

  2. The SEC:

    The Commission seeks Carter's testimony to inquire about, among other things, Carter's joint ventures with Iconix.

  3. Stanislaus County:

    Sonow we have them saying even in cases where we don’t have jurisdiction, because we want to stay, the court should not inquire whether we should stay on these cases or not, and I think that’s more of a bad precedent than the court looking at this in the first place to determine what the court gets to do and what their jurisdiction is. …They are capital habeas litigators, but they want to stay on a non-capital case.

  4. Swami Sivanada:

    Life is short. Time is fleeting. Realize the Self. Purity of the heart is the gateway to God. Aspire. Renounce. Meditate. Be good do good. Be kind be compassionate. Inquire, know Thyself.

  5. Elijah Cummings:

    The chairman asked me back in September to inquire as to whether Secretary Clinton would testify, she immediately said she would and that she wanted to come in December, but if December did not work, she would come in January. She said I'll do it, period. The fact is she was very clear. She did not hesitate for one second.

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Translations for inquire

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"inquire." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/inquire>.

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