Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

investigate - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb investigate pronunciation in American English /ɪnˈvestɪˌɡeɪt/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleinvestigating
past tenseinvestigated
past participleinvestigated

Related words

  1. [intransitive/transitive] to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it

    We sent a reporter to investigate the rumor.

    A short time later I heard a noise outside and went to investigate.

    investigate what/why/whether etc.:

    The research aims to investigate why schools are not doing better.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to try to get detailed facts and information about a person’s behavior or character

      She was thoroughly investigated by the FBI before being offered the job.



a title used before a man or woman's name as a gender-neutral alternative to Mr, Ms, etc

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


another way of saying congratulations, or that something/someone looks nice or fascinating

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play