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
2 : a judicial or official inquiry or examination usually before a jury; also : the finding of the jury
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
inquisitionalplay \-ˈzi-sh(ə-)nəl\ adjective
Examples of inquisition in a sentence
His political enemies were conducting an inquisition into the details of his personal life.
<there's no need to conduct an inquisition about so trivial a matter>
Did You Know?
While an inquiry can be almost any search for truth, the related word inquisition suggests a long, thorough investigation that involves extensive and harsh questioning. Though the two words originally had about the same meaning, today inquisition tends to remind us of the Spanish Inquisition, an ongoing trial conducted by church-appointed inquisitors that began in the Middle Ages and sought out nonbelievers, Jews, and Muslims, thousands of whom were sentenced to torture and to burning at the stake.
Origin and Etymology of inquisition
Middle English inquisicioun, from Anglo-French inquisition, from Latin inquisition-, inquisitio, from inquirere
First Known Use: 14th century
Legal Definition of inquisition
1 : the act of inquiring or examining
2 : a judicial or official inquiry or examination usually before a jury; also : the finding that results from such an inquiry
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