in·​quis·​i·​tor | \ in-ˈkwi-zə-tər How to pronounce inquisitor (audio) \

Definition of inquisitor

: one who inquires or makes inquisition especially : one who is unduly harsh, severe, or hostile in making an inquiry

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Other Words from inquisitor

inquisitorial \ in-​ˌkwi-​zə-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce inquisitor (audio) \ adjective
inquisitorially \ in-​ˌkwi-​zə-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce inquisitor (audio) \ adverb

Examples of inquisitor in a Sentence

He had to answer his inquisitors' questions or be thrown out of school.
Recent Examples on the Web Cassidy cast a wary eye at an inquisitor who suggested that the officials have called a good series, given the amount of physical play., 4 June 2021 Dvorkin can thus be called, without much exaggeration, the Kremlin’s grand inquisitor. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 20 Mar. 2021 At oral arguments, Nahmias is routinely well prepared and an aggressive inquisitor. Bill Rankin, ajc, 11 Mar. 2021 To postpone their execution, a group of women accused of witchcraft lure their inquisitor into witnessing the witches’ Sabbath. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 7 Mar. 2021 Harris achieved no significant legislation in the Senate during an era of heightened partisanship but built her national reputation as a tough inquisitor of Trump administration officials. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, 17 Jan. 2021 According to the story—which seems plausible given the smallness of the Bolshevik community at that time—the anti-Semitic inquisitor was Iosif Dzhugashvili—Joe Stalin. WSJ, 1 Oct. 2020 Swan’s young, guileless face and flatteringly deferential manner masked an inquisitor prepared to hold Trump to account. Mattathias Schwartz, New York Times, 19 Aug. 2020 Ratcliffe has been a key inquisitor for Republicans in Congress, including during last year's impeachment hearings. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, 5 May 2020

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

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First Known Use of inquisitor

1504, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for inquisitor

Time Traveler

The first known use of inquisitor was in 1504

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Statistics for inquisitor

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inquisitor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for inquisitor



English Language Learners Definition of inquisitor

: a person who asks many difficult questions in a harsh or unkind way
: a member or officer of the Inquisition

More from Merriam-Webster on inquisitor

Nglish: Translation of inquisitor for Spanish Speakers


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