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[in-kwiz-i-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /ɪnˌkwɪz ɪˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/
of or relating to an inquisitor or inquisition.
exercising the office of an inquisitor.
  1. pertaining to a trial with one person or group inquiring into the facts and acting as both prosecutor and judge.
  2. pertaining to secret criminal prosecutions.
resembling an inquisitor in harshness or intrusiveness.
inquisitive; prying.
Origin of inquisitorial
1755-65; < Medieval Latin inquīsītōri(us) (Latin inquīsītōr-, stem of inquīsītor inquisitor + -ius adj. suffix) + -al1
Related forms
inquisitorially, adverb
inquisitorialness, noun
uninquisitorial, adjective
uninquisitorially, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for inquisitorial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I intend to be inquisitorial, as the committee say they are,--but not impertinently so.

    Slavery Ordained of God Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.
  • On the other hand, the officials were inquisitorial and rapacious.

    The Siege of Boston Allen French
  • This uplifting illusion made him inquisitorial and peremptory.

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • Unflinchingly he stands the inquisitorial glance, and for the time Phoebe is foiled.

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
  • The proceeding, too, was inquisitorial, not accusatorial: it required no accusers.

    Not Paul, But Jesus Jeremy Bentham
  • Duncan assumed the inquisitorial air his chief had in a marked degree.

    Under Cover Roi Cooper Megrue
  • The theatre also became subject to inquisitorial censorship.

  • I conceive that some fears of the inquisitorial censures are the cause of this delay.

    Letters from Spain Joseph Blanco White
British Dictionary definitions for inquisitorial


of, relating to, or resembling inquisition or an inquisitor
offensively curious; prying
(law) denoting criminal procedure in which one party is both prosecutor and judge, or in which the trial is held in secret Compare accusatorial (sense 2)
Derived Forms
inquisitorially, adverb
inquisitorialness, noun
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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