AskDefine | Define enquire

Dictionary Definition



1 inquire about; "I asked about their special today"; "He had to ask directions several times" [syn: ask, inquire]
2 conduct an inquiry or investigation of; "The district attorney's office investigated reports of possible irregularities"; "inquire into the disappearance of the rich old lady" [syn: investigate, inquire]
3 have a wish or desire to know something; "He wondered who had built this beautiful church" [syn: wonder, inquire]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


  1. To ask (about something).
  2. To make an enquiry.


to ask about something
to make an enquiry

Usage notes

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

Extensive Definition

ENQUIRE was an early project (in the second half of 1980) of Tim Berners-Lee, who went on to create the World Wide Web in 1989. ENQUIRE had some of the same ideas as the Web and the Semantic Web but was different in several important ways, one of them that it was not supposed to be released to the general public. ENQUIRE was implemented on a Norsk Data machine.
According to Berners-Lee (2000), the name was inspired by a book called Enquire Within Upon Everything.
Rather than a web browser, ENQUIRE was closer to a wiki:
  • database, though a closed system (all of the data could be taken as a workable whole)
  • bidirectional hyperlinks (in Wikipedia and MediaWiki, this is the What links here feature). This bidirectionnality allows ideas, notes, etc. to link to each other without the author being aware of this. In a way, they (or, at least, their relationships) get a life on their own.
  • direct editing from the server (like wikis and CMS/blogs)
  • ease of compositing, particularly when it comes to hyperlinking.


Berners-Lee, T. (2000). Weaving the web. The original design and ultimate destiny of the world wide web. NY: Harper Business.
enquire in Polish: ENQUIRE
enquire in French: ENQUIRE
enquire in Japanese: ENQUIRE

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ask, ask a question, ask about, ask questions, be curious, bring into question, burn with curiosity, demand, dig around for, dig up, gape, gawk, inquire, inquire of, interpellate, interrogate, make inquiry, nose around for, nose out, peer, propose a question, propound a question, put queries, query, question, quiz, require an answer, rubber, rubberneck, seek, stare, want to know
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