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[in-kwiz-i-ter] /ɪnˈkwɪz ɪ tər/
a person who makes an inquisition.
a questioner, especially an unduly curious or harsh one.
a person who investigates in an official capacity.
a member of the Inquisition.
Origin of inquisitor
1495-1505; < Latin inquīsītor, equivalent to inquīsī-, variant stem of inquīrere to inquire + -tor -tor
Can be confused
inquirer, inquisitor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for inquisitor
Historical Examples
  • Katherine rose and gazed at him with the austerity of an inquisitor.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
  • In vain did the inquisitor of the Faith strive to shake his constancy.

  • Phelps was not asking me these things, the inquisitor was actually telling me.

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
  • "The inquisitor calls you when he wants you," the bald man said.

    Wizard Laurence Mark Janifer (AKA Larry M. Harris)
  • "I will tell the inquisitor you wish to see him," the bald guard said.

    Wizard Laurence Mark Janifer (AKA Larry M. Harris)
  • What the execution of the inquisitor's office meant, is, alas!

    The Huguenots in France Samuel Smiles.
  • Joan paid the cabman and followed her inquisitor into the office.

    To Love Margaret Peterson
  • The Frenchman darted a quick and angry look at his inquisitor.

  • I asked again, as an inquisitor might say, 'Have you had enough?'

    The Riddle of the Sands Erskine Childers
  • If he could work upon the fears of the inquisitor, they might yet be saved.

    The Ferryman of Brill William H. G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for inquisitor


a person who inquires, esp deeply, searchingly, or ruthlessly
(often capital) an official of the ecclesiastical court of the Inquisition
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 inquisitor

c.1400, from Old French inquisiteur (c.1400) or directly from Latin inquisitor "searcher, examiner," in law, "an investigator, collector of evidence," agent noun from Latin inquirere (see inquire). As the title of an officer of the Inquisition, from 1540s. Related: Inquisitorial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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