enquire

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Old French enquerre, from en- + querre (to search, to look for).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

enquire (third-person singular simple present enquires, present participle enquiring, simple past and past participle enquired)

  1. (intransitive) To make an enquiry.
    He enquired about the availability of rental bicycles in the town.
  2. (transitive, archaic) To ask about (something).
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      Having thus at length enquired the truth concerning Law and dispense.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Byron
      And all obey and few enquire his will.

Usage notes[edit]

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In the USA, inquire is generally used in place of enquire. Where enquire is used (particularly in the UK), it means a non-official enquiry (such as to ask a question), whereas inquire is used in legal or government context where official transcripts are generated. In the USA, this distinction is not made and inquire is used generally.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]