Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Law A judicial inquiry into a matter usually held before a jury, especially an inquiry into the cause of a death.
  • n. Law A jury making such an inquiry.
  • n. Law The finding based on such an inquiry.
  • n. An investigation or inquiry. See Synonyms at inquiry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A formal investigation, often held before a jury, especially one into the cause of a death.
  • n. The jury hearing such an inquiry, and the result of the inquiry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Inquiry; quest; search.
  • n.
  • n. Judicial inquiry; official examination, esp. before a jury.
  • n. A body of men assembled under authority of law to inquire into any matter, civil or criminal, particularly any case of violent or sudden death; a jury, particularly a coroner's jury. The grand jury is sometimes called the grand inquest. See under Grand.
  • n. The finding of the jury upon such inquiry.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Inquiry; search; quest.
  • n. In law: A judicial inquiry, especially an inquiry held before a jury; specifically, a proceeding before a jury to determine the amount to be recovered in an action, when there is no trial in the ordinary sense, because the right to recover has been admitted; in common use, a coroner's inquest.
  • n. The jury itself.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an inquiry into the cause of an unexpected death

Etymologies

Middle English enqueste, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *inquaesīta, thing inquired into, alteration of Latin inquīsīta, feminine past participle of inquīrere, to inquire into; see inquire.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French enqueste (Modern French enquête), from Vulgar Latin inquirere, or from Medieval Latin inquesta < in + Latin quaesita. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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