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 inquisitorial (audio) \ adjective
inquisitorially \ in-​ˌkwi-​zə-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce inquisitorially (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 Ratcliffe has been a key inquisitor for Republicans in Congress, including during last year's impeachment hearings. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "‘Speak truth to power’: John Ratcliffe vows independence if confirmed as spy chief," 5 May 2020 Murray was one; the other was Joseph Kosuth, who was not only one of the pioneers of conceptual art but also its strictest and most demanding inquisitor. Barry Schwabsky, The New York Review of Books, "Playful & Philosophical: The Paintings of Moira Dryer," 25 Apr. 2020 On the bench, Blackwell can be an aggressive inquisitor during oral arguments. Bill Rankin, ajc, "Blackwell to step down as Georgia justice in November," 28 Feb. 2020 An inquisitor investigates the mysterious death of a monk and alleged witchcraft in the Middle Ages. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019," 22 Sep. 2019 The president and his supporters, including his family, have used Twitter to frame his defense, torch his Democratic inquisitors and try to undermine public officials, like Colonel Vindman, who have testified against him. Mike Mcintire, New York Times, "Trump’s Twitter War Room Aims Its Punches at Decorated Colonel," 6 Nov. 2019 Meadows was among the most assertive Republican inquisitors, the transcripts show. Anchorage Daily News, "Transcripts show scattershot GOP strategy in early days of impeachment inquiry," 5 Nov. 2019 Reflexologists manipulate them, and inquisitors flog them. Los Angeles Times, "He was seeking custom-made boots. The journey led to a life deeply touched by love and death and leather," 22 Oct. 2019 Not only do the ruthless inquisitors await, but Cervantes’ dungeon-mates have seized his possessions. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: SDMT’s stirring ‘Man of La Mancha’ delivers as it dares to dream the impossible," 29 Sep. 2019

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

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The first known use of inquisitor was in 1504

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Statistics for inquisitor

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inquisitor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for inquisitor


How to pronounce inquisitor (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on inquisitor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inquisitor

Spanish Central: Translation of inquisitor

Nglish: Translation of inquisitor for Spanish Speakers

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