- an official investigation, especially one of a political or religious nature, characterized by lack of regard for individual rights, prejudice on the part of the examiners, and recklessly cruel punishments.
- any harsh, difficult, or prolonged questioning.
- the act of inquiring; inquiry; research.
- an investigation, or process of inquiry.
- a judicial or official inquiry.
- the finding of such an inquiry.
- the document embodying the result of such inquiry.
- (initial capital letter) Roman Catholic Church.
Origin of inquisition
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for inquisition
They will be subjected to inquisition, and will await resurrection in the grave like any normal Muslim.An Ex-Radical's Open Letter to ISIS Fighters: Quit Now While You Can!
September 10, 2014
Why is the agency getting what amounts to a free ride in the current inquisition?Truth, Justice and Benghazi
May 17, 2013
“When you say ‘Christianity’ to Israelis they immediately think of the Holocaust and the [Spanish] Inquisition,” he told Haaretz.Ambassador Oren Vs. Rabbi Jacobs
November 14, 2012
Formerly the office of the Inquisition, the CDF now occupies itself with policing church doctrine.Pope Benedict XVI Appoints Catholic Church’s New Top Cop
Barbie Latza Nadeau
July 4, 2012
The Inquisition's pursuit of conversos was not based on religion, nor was Spain's expulsion of Jews who remained Jewish.Benzion Netanyahu's Legacies
May 1, 2012
This stopped Larcher's inquisition, though not his curiosity.The Mystery of Murray Davenport
Robert Neilson Stephens
History accuses Isabella of having established the Inquisition in Spain.
The inquisition at once seized their persons, and proceeded to try them for their crimes.
Miss Graham, noticing his hesitation, hastened to end the inquisition.The Woman-Haters
Joseph C. Lincoln
Even at the risk of its really bringing down the inquisition?The Wings of the Dove, Volume 1 of 2
- the act of inquiring deeply or searchingly; investigation
- a deep or searching inquiry, esp a ruthless official investigation of individuals in order to suppress revolt or root out the unorthodox
- an official inquiry, esp one held by a jury before an officer of the Crown
- another word for inquest (def. 2)
- history a judicial institution of the Roman Catholic Church (1232–1820) founded to discover and suppress heresySee also Spanish Inquisition
Word Origin and History for inquisition
late 14c., "judicial investigation, act or process of inquiring," from Old French inquisicion "inquiry, investigation" (12c.), from Latin inquisitionem (nominative inquisitio) "a searching into, legal examination," noun of action from past participle stem of inquirere (see inquire).
In Church history, inquisitors were appointed from 382 C.E. to root out heretics, and the Inquisition refers to the ecclesiastical court (Congregation of the Holy Office) appointed 13c. by Innocent III to suppress heresy. It never operated in Britain. The capital letter form appeared in English only after c.1500, and usually refers to the office's reorganization 1478-1483 in Spain as what is commonly called the Spanish Inquisition.