Definitions

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

  • n. The act of inquiring into a matter; an investigation. See Synonyms at inquiry.
  • n. Law An inquest.
  • n. Law The verdict of a judicial inquiry.
  • n. A tribunal formerly held in the Roman Catholic Church and directed at the suppression of heresy.
  • n. An investigation that violates the privacy or rights of individuals.
  • n. A rigorous, harsh interrogation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an investigation or inquiry into the truth of some matter
  • n. an inquest
  • n. a questioning
  • v. To make inquisition concerning; to inquire into.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of inquiring; inquiry; search; examination; inspection; investigation.
  • n.
  • n. Judicial inquiry; official examination; inquest.
  • n. The finding of a jury, especially such a finding under a writ of inquiry.
  • n. A court or tribunal for the examination and punishment of heretics, fully established by Pope Gregory IX. in 1235. Its operations were chiefly confined to Spain, Portugal, and their dependencies, and a part of Italy.
  • transitive v. To make inquisition concerning; to inquire into.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To subject to inquisition or inquiry; investigate.
  • n. The act of inquiring; close search or examination; investigation; inquiry.
  • n. In law: Inquiry by a jury impaneled by the sheriff, a coroner, or a board of commissioners, to ascertain facts necessary for judicial or legal purposes other than the trial of an action.
  • n. The document embodying the result of such inquiry.
  • n. [capitalized] In the Roman Catholic Church, an ecclesiastical court, officially styled the Holy Office, for the suppression of heresy by the detection and punishment of heretics and by other means.

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

  • n. a severe interrogation (often violating the rights or privacy of individuals)
  • n. a former tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church (1232-1820) created to discover and suppress heresy

Etymologies

Middle English inquisicioun, from Old French inquisicion, from Latin inquīsītiō, inquīsītiōn-, from inquīsītus, past participle of inquīrere, to inquire; see inquire.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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  • The Inquisiiiition, let's begin
    The Inquisiiiition, look out sin!
    We're on a miiiiiission...
    To convert the Jews...
    Hey Torquemada, whattaya say?!

    —Mel Brooks, "History of the World, Part 1"

    September 25, 2009

  • "I had endured through watches of the dark
    The abashless inquisition of each star."
    Francis Thompson (1859-1907) The Poppy

    September 25, 2009