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1. The act or process of investigating: a politician under investigation.
2. A careful examination or search in order to discover facts or gain information. See Synonyms at inquiry.

in·ves′ti·ga′tion·al adj.


the act or process of investigating; a careful search or examination in order to discover facts, etc
inˌvestiˈgational adj


(ɪnˌvɛs tɪˈgeɪ ʃən)

1. the act or process of investigating or the condition of being investigated.
2. a searching inquiry for ascertaining facts; detailed or careful examination.
[1400–50; late Middle English < Latin]
in•ves`ti•ga′tion•al, adj.



fishing expedition An investigation conducted without definite purpose, plan, or regard to standards of propriety, in hopes of acquiring useful (and usually incriminating) evidence or information; apparently aimless interrogation designed to lead someone into incriminating himself. This expression refers to the literal fishing expedition in which, armed with basic equipment, one goes after his prey without knowing exactly what, if anything, he will catch. The more skillful and experienced the fisherman, though, the better are his chances of successfully catching his quarry.

I am not going to permit counsel to go on a fishing expedition. (Erie Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Bigamous Spouse, 1961)

go over with a fine-tooth comb see THOROUGHNESS.

leave no stone unturned See THOROUGHNESS.

shakedown A thorough search, as of a prison cell in hopes of finding hidden weapons or other contraband. This expression alludes to shaking a tree to expose and acquire fruits or nuts which might be hidden within the foliage, and implies that something is turned upside-down and shaken to reveal the desired items. The expression is often used as a verb, to shake down.

A couple of patrolmen to shake down the neighborhood … (Richard Starnes, And When She Was Bad She Was Murdered, 1951)

As an adjective, shake-down is often applied to a cruise or flight undertaken to expose any mechanical flaws and to orient the crew while breaking in and adjusting the new equipment. See also shakedown, EXTORTION.

take soundings To investigate, to try to find out what is going on or how things stand; to psych out a situation. To take soundings is literally to measure the depth of water by letting down a line with a lead attached to the bottom. Figurative use of sounding appeared in print during the time of Shakespeare.

Old Dan bears you no malice, I’d lay fifty pounds on it! But, if you like, I’ll just step in and take soundings. (Charles J. Lever, The Martins of Cro’ Martin, 1856)

the third degree Intensive, prolonged interrogation, often in conjunction with physical abuse, to obtain information or force a confession. Usually used in the context of a prisoner’s being questioned by the police, third degree refers to the severity of the techniques employed. Just as a third-degree burn is the most damaging and extreme type of burn, so is a “third degree” the most drastic form of interrogation.

He was at first arrested merely as a suspicious person, but when put through the “third degree” at the station, admitted that he entered the house last night. (New York Times, July 6, 1904)

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.investigation - an inquiry into unfamiliar or questionable activitiesinvestigation - an inquiry into unfamiliar or questionable activities; "there was a congressional probe into the scandal"
inquiry, research, enquiry - a search for knowledge; "their pottery deserves more research than it has received"
fishing expedition - an investigation undertaken in the hope (but not the stated purpose) of discovering information
2.investigation - the work of inquiring into something thoroughly and systematicallyinvestigation - the work of inquiring into something thoroughly and systematically
work - activity directed toward making or doing something; "she checked several points needing further work"
analysis - an investigation of the component parts of a whole and their relations in making up the whole
counting, enumeration, numeration, count, reckoning, tally - the act of counting; reciting numbers in ascending order; "the counting continued for several hours"
police investigation, police work - the investigation of criminal activities
empiricism - the application of empirical methods in any art or science
examination, scrutiny - the act of examining something closely (as for mistakes)
testing, examination - the act of giving students or candidates a test (as by questions) to determine what they know or have learned
enquiry, inquiry - a systematic investigation of a matter of public interest
research - systematic investigation to establish facts
search - an investigation seeking answers; "a thorough search of the ledgers revealed nothing"; "the outcome justified the search"
tabulation - the act of putting into tabular form; "the tabulation of the results"
wiretap, tap - the act of tapping a telephone or telegraph line to get information


noun examination, study, inquiry, hearing, research, review, search, survey, analysis, probe, inspection, exploration, scrutiny, inquest, fact finding, recce (slang) He ordered an investigation into the affair.


1. The act or an instance of exploring or investigating:
2. A seeking of knowledge, data, or the truth about something:
3. A close or systematic study:
sự điều tra


[ɪnˌvestɪˈgeɪʃən] N
1. (= inquiry) (by police, authorities, scientist) → investigación f
the investigation into the causes of the accidentla investigación sobre las causas del accidente
these allegations need further investigationestas acusaciones se tienen que investigar más a fondo
2. (= inspection, search) [of place, site] → inspección f; [of document] → examen m (Med) → exploración f
doctors carried out a simple investigation under local anaestheticlos médicos realizaron una simple exploración utilizando anestesia local
3. (= in-depth study) → estudio m (of, into de)


[ɪnˌvɛstɪˈgeɪʃən] n
(into event, cause)enquête f
an investigation into sth → un enquête sur qch
He ordered an investigation into the affair → Il a ordonné une enquête sur cette affaire.
Investigations are continuing into the cause of his death
BUT Les investigations sur la cause de sa mort continuent.
[crime] → enquête f
the police investigation into his false alibi → l'enquête de police sur son faux alibi
to be under investigation for sth [person] → être sous le coup d'une enquête pour qch
He is under investigation for corruption → Il est sous le coup d'une enquête pour corruption.


(to determine cause) → Untersuchung f (→ into +gen); (= official inquiry)Ermittlung f, → Untersuchung f; to call for an immediate investigation into somethingdie sofortige Untersuchung einer Sache (gen)fordern; to order an investigation into or of somethinganordnen, dass in einer Sache (dat)ermittelt wird; on investigation it turned out that …bei näherer Untersuchung stellte (es) sich heraus, dass …
(= looking for sth)Nachforschung f; (by police) → Ermittlungen pl; (of affairs, applicants, political beliefs etc)Überprüfung f; to be under investigationüberprüft werden; he is under investigation (by police) → gegen ihn wird ermittelt; new methods of criminal investigationneue polizeiliche Ermittlungsmethoden; (private) investigation agencyDetektei f, → Detektivbüro nt
(= scientific research) (in field) → Forschung f; (of bacteria, object etc)Erforschung f (→ into +gen); recent scientific investigation has shown …die neuesten wissenschaftlichen Untersuchungen haben gezeigt


[ɪnˌvɛstɪˈgeɪʃn] n (of crime) → indagine f, investigazione f giudiziaria
police investigations → le indagini della polizia


(inˈvestigeit) verb
to examine or inquire into carefully. The police are investigating the mystery.
inˌvestiˈgation noun
inˈvestigator noun
a person, eg a detective, who investigates.


تَـحْقِيقٌ vyšetřování undersøgelse Untersuchung διερεύνηση investigación tutkimus investigation istraga indagine 調査 조사 onderzoek utredelse dochodzenie investigação расследование undersökning การสืบสวน soruşturma sự điều tra 侦查


n. investigación, indagación.
References in classic literature ?
And the next morning, the first indication the child gave of being awake was by popping up her head from the pillow, and making that other enquiry, which she had so unaccountably connected with her investigations about the scarlet letter --
But further investigations have recently proved to me, that in modern times there have been isolated instances of the presence of the sperm whale in the Mediterranean.
Now, I consider that the phrenologists have omitted an important thing in not pushing their investigations from the cerebellum through the spinal canal.
Every year there were scandals and investigations in this institution, the newspapers charging that doctors were allowed to try fantastic experiments upon the patients; but Jurgis knew nothing of this--his only complaint was that they used to feed him upon tinned meat, which no man who had ever worked in Packingtown would feed to his dog.
On the part of his surviving relatives, they had no curious investigations to dread.
And really his anxiety to be of use in the investigations we have been making, and his real usefulness in extracting, and copying, and fetching, and carrying, have been quite stimulating to us.
Herbert assented to all this, and we went out immediately after breakfast to pursue our investigations.
Pending these investigations, I meditated on the great city in the midst of which I sat.
From the judicial investigations which followed on this occasion, and which are given at length in the Wardour Manuscript, it appears that Maurice de Bracy escaped beyond seas, and went into the service of Philip of France; while Philip de Malvoisin, and his brother Albert, the Preceptor of Templestowe, were executed, although Waldemar Fitzurse, the soul of the conspiracy, escaped with banishment; and Prince John, for whose behoof it was undertaken, was not even censured by his good-natured brother.
Sense, perception, judgment, desire, volition, memory, imagination, are found to be separated by such delicate shades and minute gradations that their boundaries have eluded the most subtle investigations, and remain a pregnant source of ingenious disquisition and controversy.
Hence, after fruitless attempts to suppress such investigations indirectly by making them liable to a heavy tax, the Legislature, in comparatively recent times, absolutely prohibited them.
It is better to wait till we see the Professor and the others after their investigations.

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