Definition of inquire in English:

inquire

(British enquire)

verb

  • 1reporting verb Ask for information from someone.

    • ‘he inquired about cottages for sale’
    • ‘‘How well do you know Berlin?’ he inquired of Hencke’
    • ‘I inquired where he lived’
    ask, make inquiries, ask questions, pose a question, request information
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1inquire afterno object Ask about the health and well-being of (someone)
      ‘Annie inquired after her parents’
    2. 1.2inquire forno object Ask to see or speak to (someone)
      ‘that was Paul inquiring for you—I told him he couldn't come in’
  • 2inquire intono object Investigate; look into.

    ‘the task of political sociology is to inquire into the causes of political events’
    conduct an inquiry, make inquiries, probe, look
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Usage

The traditional distinction between enquire and inquire is that enquire is used for general senses of ‘ask’ while inquire is reserved for uses meaning ‘make a formal investigation’. In practice, however, there is little discernible distinction in the way the words are used today. Inquire is the usual form in US English, with enquire being mainly restricted to British English

Origin

Middle English enquere (later inquere), from Old French enquerre, from a variant of Latin inquirere, based on quaerere ‘seek’. The spelling with in-, influenced by Latin, dates from the 15th century.

Pronunciation

inquire

/ɪnˈkwʌɪə/