Every crime novel has an investigator, someone whose job it is to discover the truth. Not all investigators solve crimes, but to be an investigator you need to work hard to figure things out.

A private investigator knocks at your door. Do you let him in? He probably only wants to ask questions, because that’s what investigators do: they research. Scientists are investigators, so are police officers, and even your friend who reads lots of books about butterflies can be considered an investigator. Rooted in the Latin word vestigare, meaning “trace out,” investigators gather facts in order to trace out the whole picture.

Definitions of investigator
  1. noun
    someone who investigates
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    Samuel Wiesenthal
    Austrian investigator of Nazi war crimes (born in 1908)
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    adjuster, adjustor, claim agent, claims adjuster, claims adjustor
    one who investigates insurance claims or claims for damages and recommends an effective settlement
    coroner, medical examiner
    a public official who investigates by inquest any death not due to natural causes
    an investigator engaged or employed in obtaining information not easily available to the public
    examiner, inspector
    an investigator who observes carefully
    a government appointee who investigates complaints by private persons against the government
    bank examiner
    an examiner appointed to audit the accounts of banks in a given jurisdiction
    one who checks the correctness of something
    PI, operative, private detective, private eye, private investigator, shamus, sherlock
    someone who can be employed as a detective to collect information
    scrutiniser, scrutinizer
    a careful examiner; someone who inspects with great care
    canvasser, scrutineer
    someone who examines votes at an election
    sleuth, sleuthhound
    a detective who follows a trail
    type of:
    expert, pundit
    a person with special knowledge or ability who performs skillfully
  2. noun
    a police officer who investigates crimes
    synonyms: detective, police detective, tec
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    dick, gumshoe, hawkshaw
    someone who is a detective
    a detective who wears civilian clothes on duty
    an investigator who is employed to find missing persons or missing goods
    type of:
    officer, police officer, policeman
    a member of a police force
  3. noun
    a scientist who devotes himself to doing research
    synonyms: research worker, researcher
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    a research worker who conducts experiments
    (British slang) a scientist or technician engaged in military research
    a researcher who works in the field
    post doc, postdoc
    a scholar or researcher who is involved in academic study beyond the level of a doctoral degree
    type of:
    a person with advanced knowledge of one or more sciences
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