inquisition

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

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. 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

inquisitional

play \ˌin-kwə-ˈzi-sh(ə-)nəl, ˌiŋ-\ adjective

Examples of inquisition in a Sentence

  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

Recent Examples of inquisition from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inquisition'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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


INQUISITION Defined for English Language Learners

inquisition

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noun

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


Law Dictionary

inquisition

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

Legal Definition of inquisition

  1. 1 :  the act of inquiring or examining

  2. 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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