Definition of inquisition
2 : a judicial or official inquiry or examination usually before a jury; also : the finding of the jury
3a capitalized : a former Roman Catholic tribunal for the discovery and punishment of heresyb : an investigation conducted with little regard for individual rightsc : a severe questioning
inquisitionalplay \ˌin-kwə-ˈzi-sh(ə-)nəl, ˌiŋ-\ 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
INQUISITION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of inquisition for English Language Learners
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
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
Learn More about inquisition
See words that rhyme with inquisition Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inquisition Spanish Central: Translation of inquisition Nglish: Translation of inquisition for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of inquisition for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about inquisition
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).