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v. Chiefly British
Variant of inquire.


a variant of inquire
enˈquirer n



also enquire

v. -quired, -quir•ing. v.i.
1. to seek information by questioning; ask: to inquire about a person.
2. to make investigation (usu. fol. by into): to inquire into the incident.
3. to seek to learn by asking: to inquire a person's name.
4. inquire after, to ask about the well-being of (someone not present).
[1425–75; late Middle English < Latin inquīrere to search out, investigate =in- in-2 + quaerere to seek; replacing Middle English enqueren < Old French enquerre < Medieval Latin *inquarere]
in•quir′a•ble, adj.
in•quir′er, n.
in•quir′ing•ly, adv.


1. 'inquire' and 'enquire'

If you inquire or enquire about something, you ask for information about it. There is no difference in meaning between these words. Inquire is more common, especially in American English.

We inquired about the precise circumstances surrounding the arrest.
I enquired about the scenery and Beaumont told me it was being built in a carpenter's shop in Waterloo.

You can use inquire or enquire with a 'wh'-clause.

She inquired how Ibrahim was getting on.
I enquired what kind of aircraft he had commanded before returning home.

In writing, inquire and enquire are sometimes used in quote structures.

'Anything you need?' inquired the girl.
'Who compiles these reports?' Philip enquired.

Be Careful!
You do not use these verbs with a direct object. You do not say, for example, 'He inquired her if she was well'.

2. 'ask'

Inquire and enquire are fairly formal words. In conversation, people usually use ask. Ask can be used with or without a direct object.

She asked about his work.
I asked him what he wanted.


Past participle: enquired
Gerund: enquiring

I enquire
you enquire
he/she/it enquires
we enquire
you enquire
they enquire
I enquired
you enquired
he/she/it enquired
we enquired
you enquired
they enquired
Present Continuous
I am enquiring
you are enquiring
he/she/it is enquiring
we are enquiring
you are enquiring
they are enquiring
Present Perfect
I have enquired
you have enquired
he/she/it has enquired
we have enquired
you have enquired
they have enquired
Past Continuous
I was enquiring
you were enquiring
he/she/it was enquiring
we were enquiring
you were enquiring
they were enquiring
Past Perfect
I had enquired
you had enquired
he/she/it had enquired
we had enquired
you had enquired
they had enquired
I will enquire
you will enquire
he/she/it will enquire
we will enquire
you will enquire
they will enquire
Future Perfect
I will have enquired
you will have enquired
he/she/it will have enquired
we will have enquired
you will have enquired
they will have enquired
Future Continuous
I will be enquiring
you will be enquiring
he/she/it will be enquiring
we will be enquiring
you will be enquiring
they will be enquiring
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been enquiring
you have been enquiring
he/she/it has been enquiring
we have been enquiring
you have been enquiring
they have been enquiring
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been enquiring
you will have been enquiring
he/she/it will have been enquiring
we will have been enquiring
you will have been enquiring
they will have been enquiring
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been enquiring
you had been enquiring
he/she/it had been enquiring
we had been enquiring
you had been enquiring
they had been enquiring
I would enquire
you would enquire
he/she/it would enquire
we would enquire
you would enquire
they would enquire
Past Conditional
I would have enquired
you would have enquired
he/she/it would have enquired
we would have enquired
you would have enquired
they would have enquired
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.enquire - inquire aboutenquire - inquire about; "I asked about their special today"; "He had to ask directions several times"
communicate, intercommunicate - transmit thoughts or feelings; "He communicated his anxieties to the psychiatrist"
ask - direct or put; seek an answer to; "ask a question"
pry - be nosey; "Don't pry into my personal matters!"
confer with, consult - get or ask advice from; "Consult your local broker"; "They had to consult before arriving at a decision"
ask - address a question to and expect an answer from; "Ask your teacher about trigonometry"; "The children asked me about their dead grandmother"
2.enquire - 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"
spy - secretly collect sensitive or classified information; engage in espionage; "spy for the Russians"
probe, examine - question or examine thoroughly and closely
3.enquire - have a wish or desire to know something; "He wondered who had built this beautiful church"
query, question - pose a question
request - inquire for (information); "I requested information from the secretary"


see inquire


also enquire
1. To put a question to (someone):
2. To go into or through for the purpose of making discoveries or acquiring information:
يَتَحَرّى عن، يُحَقِّق فييَسْأل عنيَسْأل عن شَخْصيَسْأل عن صِحَّةيَسْتَعْلِمُ عَنْ
dotázat se
grennslast fyrir umgrennslast fyrir um, rannsakaspyrja umspyrjast fyrir um
apjautātiesievākt ziņasjautātpētīt
hỏi thông tin



(inˈkwaiə) verb
1. to ask. He inquired the way to the art gallery; She inquired what time the bus left.
2. (with about) to ask for information about. They inquired about trains to London.
3. (with after) to ask for information about the state of (eg a person's health). He enquired after her mother.
4. (with for) to ask to see or talk to (a person). Someone rang up inquiring for you, but you were out.
5. (with for) to ask for (goods in a shop etc). Several people have been inquiring for the new catalogue.
6. (with into) to try to discover the facts of. The police are inquiring into the matter.
inˈquiry ( American also ˈinkwəri) , enˈquiry (American also ˈenkwəri) plural inquiries, ~enquiries noun
1. (an act of) asking or investigating. His inquiries led him to her hotel; (also adjective) All questions will be dealt with at the inquiry desk.
2. an investigation. An inquiry is being held into her disappearance.
make inquiries
to ask for information.


يَسْتَعْلِمُ عَنْ dotázat se forespørge erkundigen (sich) ερευνώ inquirir tiedustella demander pitati chiedere 問い合わせる 문의하다 navragen spørre zasięgnąć informacji informar-se осведомляться efterfråga ถามคำถาม araştırmak hỏi thông tin 询问
References in classic literature ?
Conversation however was not wanted, for Sir John was very chatty, and Lady Middleton had taken the wise precaution of bringing with her their eldest child, a fine little boy about six years old, by which means there was one subject always to be recurred to by the ladies in case of extremity, for they had to enquire his name and age, admire his beauty, and ask him questions which his mother answered for him, while he hung about her and held down his head, to the great surprise of her ladyship, who wondered at his being so shy before company, as he could make noise enough at home.
The jolly Hermit at length agrees to venture thither, and to enquire for Jack Fletcher, which is the name assumed by the King.
your friends enquire sarcastically, while you hang your head and blush.
But never shall I be able so far to conquer my tender sensibility as to enquire after him.
And to show you that I have not wholly forgotten the past, may I enquire where Mlle.
Every one agreed with her, but no one condescended to enquire what the Beauforts really meant to do.
Not but that there are even now some particular magistrates invested with supreme power to decide, as judges, those things which the law cannot, as being one of those cases which comes not properly under its jurisdiction; for of those which can there is no doubt: since then laws comprehend some things, but not all, it is necessary to enquire and consider which of the two is preferable, that the best man or the best law should govern; for to reduce every subject which can come under the deliberation of man into a law is impossible.
Stroeve went twice a day to the hospital to enquire after his wife, who still declined to see him; and came away at first relieved and hopeful because he was told that she seemed to be growing better, and then in despair because, the complication which the doctor had feared having ensued, recovery was impossible.
Thornbury was led to enquire whether we should like it if all our rooks were blue--"What do
We have seen no people since we arrived, so we came to this house to enquire our way.
13, Cadogan Street, and you will enquire for Lady Ruth Barrington.
He brought our Saviour to the western side Of that high mountain, whence he might behold Another plain, long, but in breadth not wide, Washed by the southern sea, and on the north To equal length backed with a ridge of hills That screened the fruits of the earth and seats of men From cold Septentrion blasts; thence in the midst Divided by a river, off whose banks On each side an Imperial City stood, With towers and temples proudly elevate On seven small hills, with palaces adorned, Porches and theatres, baths, aqueducts, Statues and trophies, and triumphal arcs, Gardens and groves, presented to his eyes Above the highth of mountains interposed-- By what strange parallax, or optic skill Of vision, multiplied through air, or glass Of telescope, were curious to enquire.