Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

inquisition

play
noun in·qui·si·tion \ˌin-kwə-ˈzi-shən, ˌiŋ-\

Simple Definition of inquisition

  • the Inquisition : an organization in the Roman Catholic Church in the past that was responsible for finding and punishing people who did not accept its beliefs and practices

  • : a harsh and unfair investigation or series of questions

Full Definition of inquisition

  1. 1 :  the act of inquiring :  examination

  2. 2 :  a judicial or official inquiry or examination usually before a jury; also :  the finding of the jury

  3. 3 a capitalized :  a former Roman Catholic tribunal for the discovery and punishment of heresy b :  an investigation conducted with little regard for individual rights c :  a severe questioning

in·qui·si·tion·al play \-ˈzi-sh(ə-)nəl\ adjective

Examples of inquisition

  1. His political enemies were conducting an inquisition into the details of his personal life.

  2. <there's no need to conduct an inquisition about so trivial a matter>



Origin of inquisition

Middle English inquisicioun, from Anglo-French inquisition, from Latin inquisition-, inquisitio, from inquirere


First Known Use: 14th century




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up inquisition? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders pince-nez spindrift duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ