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enquiry (also inquiry) noun

1 official investigation

ADJ. full/full-scale, major | detailed | preliminary | immediate | open, public | confidential | internal | joint a joint enquiry undertaken by the Department of Health and the Dental Association | impartial, independent | informal | formal, official | congressional, government, judicial, parliamentary, police | disciplinary | fatal accident, murder, etc.

VERB + ENQUIRY carry out, conduct, have, hold, undertake | announce The governor announced an enquiry into the events. | initiate, launch, open (up), set up, start Police have launched a murder enquiry. | adjourn | reopen | call for Local MPs are calling for a full independent enquiry into the way the police handled the affair. | demand, order The government has ordered a public enquiry into the affair. | be subjected to, face You may be subjected to a disciplinary enquiry. | attend | be involved in | chair, head, lead The enquiry will be chaired by a judge.

ENQUIRY + VERB be underway, take place A major enquiry is underway after the death of a union official. The enquiry will take place behind closed doors. | begin, commence, start | hear sth The enquiry heard this week that the crash was unavoidable. | consider sth, examine sth, investigate sth | reveal sth | conclude sth, establish sth, find sth An enquiry found that the vintage plane was in good working order. | rule sth The enquiry ruled that the cars should be fitted with bigger bumpers. | blame sb/sth

ENQUIRY + NOUN report | team

PREP. at an/the ~ At the enquiry the minister maintained that nothing illegal had been done. | during/in an/the ~ arguments during the enquiry | pending an ~ The director has been suspended on full pay, pending an internal enquiry. | ~ by an enquiry by the Charity Commission | ~ into a public enquiry into the environmental effects of the proposed new road

PHRASES the outcome/result of an enquiry, the subject of an enquiry He now finds himself the subject of an enquiry after reports of financial irregularities.

2 request for information

ADJ. exhaustive, extensive, thorough I've made exhaustive enquiries, but haven't been able to find what I want. | detailed | specific | general Our national enquiry centre is open every day and can help you with all your general enquiries. | discreet | informal | routine | preliminary | customer | house-to-house, phone/telephone, written

QUANT. flood, stream After the disaster, the police had a flood of enquiries about missing relatives.

VERB + ENQUIRY make, pursue, direct, undertake The police are still pursuing their enquiries. The committee directed its enquiries to Mrs Taylor. | complete | welcome The faculty welcomes enquiries from prospective entrants. | get, have, receive | be inundated with | answer, respond to, deal with, handle | assist (sb) in/with, help (sb) in/with Police believe he can help them with their enquiries into a robbery.

ENQUIRY + NOUN desk, office | service | form You are requested to complete an enquiry form.

PREP. pending an/the ~ She has been released on bail pending further enquiries. | ~ about/as to/concerning/regarding/relating to/with regard to enquiries as to the whereabouts of Erin Smith | ~ by enquiries by police | ~ from enquiries from the public | ~ into I'm making enquiries into the possibility of going by train.

3 asking questions/collecting information

ADJ. careful | further | critical | intellectual | empirical | historical, philosophical, scientific, sociological The purpose is one of scientific enquiry.

VERB + ENQUIRY encourage The subjects on the curriculum encourage intellectual enquiry.

PREP. ~ concerning/into enquiry into the origins of the universe

PHRASES an area of enquiry The purpose of the research is to put this area of enquiry on a sound experimental footing. | a board/commission/committee of enquiry, a line of enquiry No one has yet been arrested but the police have assured us that all possible lines of enquiry are being pursued. | a method of enquiry Methods of enquiry vary from subject to subject. | a spirit of enquiry Children are born with a spirit of enquiry.