One entry found for investigate.
Main Entry: in·ves·ti·gate
Inflected Form(s): -gat·ed; -gat·ing
Etymology: from Latin investigare "to track, investigate," from in- "in, toward" and vestigium "footprint" --related to VESTIGE : to study by close examination and systematic inquiry - in·ves·ti·ga·tion /-ves-t-g-shn/ noun - in·ves·ti·ga·tive /-ves-t-gt-iv/ adjective - in·ves·ti·ga·tor /-gt-r/ noun - in·ves·ti·ga·to·ry /-ves-ti-g-tr-, -tr-/ adjective Word History A detective investigating a crime may find the criminal by following clues. In much the same way, a hunter may find game by following tracks. The origins of the word investigate show how fitting it is to compare the detective to the hunter. The Latin word vestigium meant "footprint, track." Joined with the prefix in-, the noun vestigium gave rise to the verb investigare. This word meant both "to track or trace by footprints" and "to study or examine closely." Only the second meaning was kept when the verb was borrowed into English as investigate.