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v. in·quired, in·quir·ing, in·quires
1. To seek information by asking a question: inquired about prices.
2. To make an inquiry or investigation: inquire into the extent of the corruption.
1. To ask, especially politely or formally: The host inquired why we were leaving so soon. See Synonyms at ask.
2. To ask questions about (something); investigate or analyze: economists inquiring whether markets behave differently during a recession.
Phrasal Verb:
inquire after
To ask about the health or condition of (someone).

[Middle English enquiren, from Old French enquerre, from Vulgar Latin *inquaerere, alteration of Latin inquīrere : in-, into; see in-2 + quaerere, to seek.]

in·quir′er n.
in·quir′ing·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ɪnˈkwaɪə) or


a. to seek information; ask: she inquired his age; she inquired about rates of pay.
b. (foll by of) to ask (a person) for information: I'll inquire of my aunt when she is coming.
2. (often foll by: into) to make a search or investigation
[C13: from Latin inquīrere from in-2 + quaerere to seek]
inˈquirer, enˈquirer n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


Past participle: inquired
Gerund: inquiring

I inquire
you inquire
he/she/it inquires
we inquire
you inquire
they inquire
I inquired
you inquired
he/she/it inquired
we inquired
you inquired
they inquired
Present Continuous
I am inquiring
you are inquiring
he/she/it is inquiring
we are inquiring
you are inquiring
they are inquiring
Present Perfect
I have inquired
you have inquired
he/she/it has inquired
we have inquired
you have inquired
they have inquired
Past Continuous
I was inquiring
you were inquiring
he/she/it was inquiring
we were inquiring
you were inquiring
they were inquiring
Past Perfect
I had inquired
you had inquired
he/she/it had inquired
we had inquired
you had inquired
they had inquired
I will inquire
you will inquire
he/she/it will inquire
we will inquire
you will inquire
they will inquire
Future Perfect
I will have inquired
you will have inquired
he/she/it will have inquired
we will have inquired
you will have inquired
they will have inquired
Future Continuous
I will be inquiring
you will be inquiring
he/she/it will be inquiring
we will be inquiring
you will be inquiring
they will be inquiring
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been inquiring
you have been inquiring
he/she/it has been inquiring
we have been inquiring
you have been inquiring
they have been inquiring
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been inquiring
you will have been inquiring
he/she/it will have been inquiring
we will have been inquiring
you will have been inquiring
they will have been inquiring
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been inquiring
you had been inquiring
he/she/it had been inquiring
we had been inquiring
you had been inquiring
they had been inquiring
I would inquire
you would inquire
he/she/it would inquire
we would inquire
you would inquire
they would inquire
Past Conditional
I would have inquired
you would have inquired
he/she/it would have inquired
we would have inquired
you would have inquired
they would have inquired
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.inquire - inquire aboutinquire - 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.inquire - 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"
3.inquire - 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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


verb ask, question, query, quiz, seek information of, request information of He inquired whether there had been any messages left for him.
inquire into something investigate, study, examine, consider, research, search, explore, look into, inspect, probe into, scrutinize, make inquiries into Inspectors inquired into the affairs of the company.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


also enquire
1. To put a question to (someone):
2. To go into or through for the purpose of making discoveries or acquiring information:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
dotázat seinformovat seinformovat se napoptávat se popozeptat se na
efterforskeforespørgeforhøre sigforhøre sig omspørge
megérdeklődikvizsgálatot folytat
grennslast fyrir umgrennslast fyrir um, rannsakaspyrja umspyrjast fyrir um
apjautātiesievākt ziņasjautātpētīt
informovať sapýtať savypytovať savyšetrovať
araştırmakbilgi edinmekhâl ve hatırını sormakistemeksormak
hỏi thông tintìm hiểu


A. VTpreguntar
to inquire sth of sbpreguntar algo a algn
to inquire when/whetherpreguntar cuándo/si ...
he inquired the pricepreguntó cuánto costaba
B. VIpreguntar
to inquire about sthpreguntar por algo, informarse de algo
I am inquiring about your advertisement in today's paper (by phone) → llamo para preguntar acerca de su anuncio en el periódico de hoy
to inquire after or for or about sbpreguntar por algn
she inquired after your healthpreguntó por tu salud, preguntó qué tal andabas de salud
to inquire into sthinvestigar or indagar algo
I shouldn't inquire too closely if I were youyo que tú no haría demasiadas preguntas
"inquire within"infórmese en el interior
"inquire at No. 14"razón: en el no 14
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


vise renseigner
If you need help, inquire within → Si vous avez besoin d'aide, renseignez-vous à l'intérieur.
to inquire about sth → se renseigner sur qch
I'm going to inquire about train times → Je vais me renseigner sur les horaires des trains.
vtdemander, s'enquérir (formal)
"Is something wrong?" he inquired → "Quelque chose ne va pas?" demanda-t-il., "Quelque chose ne va pas?" s'enquit-t-il.
to inquire when ... → demander quand ...
to inquire where ... → demander où ...
to inquire whether ... → demander si ...
inquire after
vt fus [+ person] → s'enquérir de, demander des nouvelles de
to inquire after sb's health → s'enquérir de la santé de qn
inquire into
vt fus [+ death] → enquêter sur; [+ allegation, complaint] → enquêter sur
A commission has been set up to inquire into allegations of government abuses of power → Une commission a été nommée pour enquêter sur des allégations d'abus de pouvoir de la part du gouvernement.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


, enquire
vt the time, a name, the waysich erkundigen nach, fragen nach; to inquire something of somebodysich bei jdm nach etw erkundigen; he inquired what/whether/when etcer erkundigte sich or fragte, was/ob/wann etc
visich erkundigen (about nach), fragen (about nach, wegen); “inquire within”„Näheres im Geschäft
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. vt to inquire when/where/whetherdomandare quando/dove/se
to inquire sth of sb → domandare qc a qn
2. vi to inquire (about sth)informarsi (di or su qc), chiedere informazioni (su qc)
inquire after vi + prep (person) → chiedere di; (sb's health) → informarsi di
inquire into vi + prepindagare su, svolgere delle indagini su
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995



(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.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


يَسْأَلُ عَنْ, يَسْتَعْلِمُ عَنْ dotázat se, informovat se forespørge erkundigen (sich) διευρενώ, ερευνώ indagar, inquirir tiedustella demander pitati, upitati chiedere, domandare 問い合わせる, 尋ねる 문의하다 navragen forespørre, spørre dowiedzieć się, zasięgnąć informacji averiguar, informar-se осведомляться, спрашивать efterfråga, fråga ไต่ถาม, ถามคำถาม araştırmak, soruşturmak hỏi thông tin, tìm hiểu 查究, 询问
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
With a confusion of ideas only to be accounted for by my extreme youth and my want of a guide on such matters, I had retrod the steps of knowledge along the paths of time and exchanged the discoveries of recent inquirers for the dreams of forgotten alchemists.
Every view we may take of the subject, as candid inquirers after truth, will serve to convince us, that it is both unwise and dangerous to deny the federal government an unconfined authority, as to all those objects which are intrusted to its management.
Since this happy alteration for the better, her ladyship's health has, we rejoice to say, rapidly improved; and the answer now given to all friendly and fashionable inquirers is, in the venerable lady's own humorous phraseology, 'Much better than could be expected.' "
Such inquirers will ask slaves about their condition; they forget that the slave must indeed be dull, who does not calculate on the chance of his answer reaching his master's ears.
(some sort of a refugee himself) to tell inquirers that one was not in.
A prince, therefore, ought always to take counsel, but only when he wishes and not when others wish; he ought rather to discourage every one from offering advice unless he asks it; but, however, he ought to be a constant inquirer, and afterwards a patient listener concerning the things of which he inquired; also, on learning that nay one, on any consideration, has not told him the truth, he should let his anger be felt.
The reader will here find no regions cursed with irremediable barrenness, or blessed with spontaneous fecundity, no perpetual gloom or unceasing sunshine; nor are the nations here described either devoid of all sense of humanity, or consummate in all private and social virtues; here are no Hottentots without religion, polity, or articulate language, no Chinese perfectly polite, and completely skilled in all sciences: he will discover, what will always be discovered by a diligent and impartial inquirer, that wherever human nature is to be found there is a mixture of vice and virtue, a contest of passion and reason, and that the Creator doth not appear partial in his distributions, but has balanced in most countries their particular inconveniences by particular favours.
The professor, in annoyance, and, as it were, mental suffering at the interruption, looked round at the strange inquirer, more like a bargeman than a philosopher, and turned his eyes upon Sergey Ivanovitch, as though to ask: What's one to say to him?
He published, therefore, in the Richmond Inquirer a series of wagers, conceived in these terms, and on an increasing scale:
At times, he spoke to his slaves with the firmness of Napoleon and the fury of a demon; at other times, he might well be mistaken for an inquirer who had lost his way.
Milvain, her aunt Celia, a zealous inquirer into such matters, whose letter was also under consideration.
Sometimes I have to stretch out my arm and brush too curious an inquirer into the place where curiosity ends.