Investigate Synonym Guide — Definition, Antonyms & Examples

Synonyms help transform your writing by strengthening your tone and making your piece unique. Investigate means “to make a query, or find out the facts about an incident to establish the truth.” A synonym for investigateis ‘scrutinize.’

What other words can be used in place of ‘investigate’? Read on to find out!

The Definition of Investigate

The verb ‘investigate’ originates from Latin’ investīgātiō’ (“a searching into”), from ‘investīgātus,’ the past participle of ‘investigare,’ equivalent to in- +‎ vestigate. The word takes the following forms: simple present – investigates, present participle – investigating, simple past and past participle – investigated. ‘Investigation’ is the noun form of the word.

The dictionary defines ‘investigate’ as “to inquire or study to ascertain facts or information. Maxwell and his team decided to investigate a cure for cancer. The term also describes the process of examining something to discover hidden truths. The president gave orders to investigate the public disturbance.

Sentence Examples

  • The task force continued to investigate and search for answers, considering the frequent robberies.
  • The committee did not investigate the discrepancies in the account despite all petitions.
  • Juan did investigate but couldn’t get a perfect solution.
  • The police officers were called to investigate the incident immediately.
  • Jonathan remained in the room to investigate on his own.
  • The committee investigated the money laundering at their earliest convenience.
  • The IT security analysts could not investigate the cyber hacks due to insufficient time.

Synonym for Investigate — Exploring Words with Similar Meanings

Words with the same or similar meaning as ‘investigate’ are explore, evaluate, scrutinize, interrogate, question, review, study, and question. Let’s take an in depth study into some of these terms.

1. Inquiry

The term is originally from Middle English’ enquery,’ Old French’ enquerre,’ Latin’ inquīrō,’ meaning ‘in-’ (“into”) + ‘quaerō’ (“I seek, look for”). It connotes seeking information about something to uncover the truth.

  • Cynthia set up an inquiry into the recent happenings of the student union.
  • You’ve been asked to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

2. Probe

The term originates from ‘probare’ (“to test, prove”) from ‘probus’ (“good”). It means “to inquire into a subject, event or concept.”

  • We need to probe deeper to get detailed results about the issue at hand.
  • Following the recent reports, a probe was requested on the politicians.

3. Research

The term takes its origin from Early Modern French’ rechercher,’ and Old French’ recerchier’ (“to seek”). It means “to seek or revise facts, principles, and theories or to continue looking for the truth.”

  • The school has done a lot of research into absenteeism.
  • My research is based on recent happenings in the slum.

4. Scrutinize

The word ‘scrutinize’ originates from the Latin’ scrutin,’ which means to sift. Scrutinize means “to scan an object or event with great care to uncover obscure or unclear truth.”

  • The director reminded Liam to scrutinize the company’s paperwork.
  • Amelia advised that each candidate scrutinize their credentials before submission.
  • Shrewd investors scrutinize businesses before purchasing.

5. Inspect

‘Inspect’ originates from Latin’ inspectum,’ past participle of ‘inspicere’ (“to look into”), equivalent to in- +‎ -spect. Inspect means “to carefully examine a condition to determine the truth.”

  • The matron made it a duty to inspect all the food and drugs donated to the orphanage.
  • The General arrived to inspect and mobilize troops.

Antonyms for Investigate — Exploring Words with Opposite Meanings

1. Ignore

‘Ignore’ is from French’ ignorer,’ Latin’ ignōrō’ (“to not know, mistake, take no notice of”), from ‘ignārus’ (“not knowing”). Ignore means “to neglect or pay no attention to something.”

  • You cannot continue to ignore me and act like I don’t exist.
  • The governor instructed the police officers to ignore the alarm made by the community.

2. Neglect

‘Neglect’ is from Latin’ neglēctus,’ perfect passive participle of ‘neglegō’ (“make light of, disregard”). Neglect means “to intentionally ignore and to not pay attention to something.”

  • The company’s neglect of its staffing needs resulted in low employee productivity.
  • The constant neglect of security issues in the neighborhood will increase the crime rate.

3. Overlook

The term originates from Middle English overloken. Overlook means “to intentionally fail to notice something.”

  • You don’t overlook a problem and decide it’ll solve itself.
  • The government overlooked the environmental damage from the dam project.
person holding on red pen while writing on book
Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

To Wrap Up

The verb ‘investigate’ generally implies thoroughly examining, analyzing, and interpreting information. A synonym for investigate is ‘scrutinize.’ Other related terms include explore, evaluate, and inspect.

Synonyms provide you with a range of possible terms to use across your piece so as to avoid repeating a single term. A thesaurus is an excellent resource to find more synonyms for the term ‘investigate.’

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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