American English

Definition of investigate verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they investigate
    he / she / it investigates
    past simple investigated
    -ing form investigating
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to carefully examine the facts of a situation, an event, a crime, etc. to find out the truth about it or how it happened The FBI has been called in to investigate. (informal) “What was that noise?” “I'll go and investigate.” investigate something Police are investigating possible links between the murders. investigate what, how, etc… Police are investigating what happened. Topic CollocationsCrimecommitting a crime commit a crime/a murder/a violent assault/a brutal killing/an armed robbery/fraud/perjury be involved in terrorism/a suspected arson attack/human smuggling/human trafficking engage/participate in criminal activity/illegal practices/acts of mindless vandalism steal somebody's wallet/purse/watch/cell phone rob a bank/a person/a tourist break into/burglarize a house/a home/an apartment/an office hijack a plane/ship/bus smuggle drugs/weapons/arms/people/immigrants launder (drug) money (through something) forge documents/certificates/passports take/accept/pay somebody/offer (somebody) a bribe run a phishing scam/an e-mail scam/an Internet scamfighting crime combat/fight crime/terrorism/drug trafficking/corruption prevent/stop credit-card fraud/child abuse/software piracy deter/stop criminals/burglars/thieves/shoplifters/vandals reduce/tackle/crack down on gun/violent/street/property crime foil a bank robbery/a terrorist plot help/support/protect the victims of crimeinvestigating crime report a crime/a theft/a rape/an attack/an incident to the police witness a crime/an attack/a murder/an incident investigate a murder/a homicide/a burglary/a robbery/the alleged incident conduct/launch/pursue/open an investigation (into…) investigate/reopen a criminal/murder case examine/investigate/find fingerprints at the crime scene/the scene of crime collect/gather forensic evidence/physical evidence uncover/discover new evidence/a fraud/a scam/a plot/a conspiracy/political corruption/a cache of weapons describe/identify a suspect/the culprit/the perpetrator/the assailant/the attacker question/interrogate a suspect/witness solve/crack the case ⇨ more collocations at justice
  2. 2[transitive] investigate somebody (for something) to try to find out information about someone's character, activities, etc. This is not the first time he has been investigated by the police for fraud.
  3. 3[transitive, intransitive] to find out information and facts about a subject or problem by study or research investigate (something) Scientists are investigating the effects of diet on fighting cancer. investigate how, what, etc… The research investigates how foreign speakers gain fluency.
  4. AWL Collocationsinvestigateinvestigate verbempirically, experimentally theoretically rigorously, systematically, thoroughly extensively, furtherThis theory has been investigated experimentally by heating volcanic rock. This speculation needs to be investigated further.influence, interaction, relationship, role effect, efficacy hypothesisOur study aims to investigate the role of optimism in preventing illness. To investigate our hypothesis, we will present two analyses.investigation nounempirical, scientific thorough further, ongoingProposals for scientific investigations will probably increase as new discoveries are made. A thorough investigation of the evidence confirms this conclusion.conduct, undertakeWe conducted a follow-up investigation to determine whether or not the students enrolled in French the following year.demonstrate, reveal, show, uncover, yieldInvestigations showed no chemical contamination of the air or water. Recent investigations have yielded new insight into sleep's role in memory and learning.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: investigate