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90s Slang You Should Know


[in-kwest] /ˈɪn kwɛst/
a legal or judicial inquiry, usually before a jury, especially an investigation made by a coroner into the cause of a death.
the body of people appointed to hold such an inquiry, especially a coroner's jury.
the decision or finding based on such inquiry.
an investigation or examination.
Origin of inquest
1250-1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin inquēsta, equivalent to Latin in- in-2 + quaesīta, plural (taken in ML as feminine singular) of quaesītum question (see quest); replacing Middle English enqueste < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin, as above
1. hearing, inquisition. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for inquest
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A coroner's inquest was accordingly held upon the body, and a verdict of "Found dead" returned.

  • It was with unusual relish that he read the account of an inquest on himself.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace
  • In the second, several newspapers reported the child as dead, though the records of the inquest soon corrected that error.

    The Revellers Louis Tracy
  • "Seal it up and put it away in your safe till the inquest tomorrow," he said.

    The Chestermarke Instinct J. S. Fletcher
  • If possible, I should induce him to have Mrs. Pattmore's body exhumed and an inquest held upon it.

British Dictionary definitions for inquest


an inquiry into the cause of an unexplained, sudden, or violent death, or as to whether or not property constitutes treasure trove, held by a coroner, in certain cases with a jury
(informal) any inquiry or investigation
Word Origin
C13: from Medieval Latin inquēsta, from Latin in-² + quaesītus investigation, from quaerere to examine
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inquest

late 13c., an-queste "legal or judicial inquiry," from Old French enqueste "inquiry," from Vulgar Latin *inquaestia (cf. Italian inchiesta), from fem. past participle of Vulgar Latin *inquirere "inquire" (see inquire).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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inquest in Medicine

inquest in·quest (ĭn'kwěst')

  1. A legal inquiry into the cause of violent or mysterious death.

  2. The finding based on such an inquiry.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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