[kawr-uh-ner, kor-]


an officer, as of a county or municipality, whose chief function is to investigate by inquest, as before a jury, any death not clearly resulting from natural causes.

Origin of coroner

1225–75; Middle English < Anglo-French corouner supervisor of the Crown's pleas, equivalent to coroune crown + -er -er2
Related formscor·o·ner·ship, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for coroner

Contemporary Examples of coroner

Historical Examples of coroner

  • Pete says you better notify the coroner—and I reckon the sheriff, too.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • Meanwhile at Redcross Farm, the Coroner was holding his inquiry.

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • "Thank you, Mr. Dunbar; that will do for the present," said the coroner.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • There was a pause, during which the coroner looked very thoughtful.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • They've taken his body to the Red Lion, and the coroner is there from Gaskarth.

British Dictionary definitions for coroner



a public official responsible for the investigation of violent, sudden, or suspicious deaths and inquiries into treasure trove. The investigation (coroner's inquest) is held in the presence of a jury (coroner's jury)See also procurator fiscal Compare medical examiner
Derived Formscoronership, noun

Word Origin for coroner

C14: from Anglo-French corouner officer in charge of the pleas of the Crown, from Old French corone crown
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

Word Origin and History for coroner

late 12c., from Anglo-French curuner, from Latin custos placitorum coronae, originally the title of the officer with the duty of protecting the property of the royal family, from Latin corona, literally "crown" (see crown (n.)). The duties of the office gradually narrowed and by 17c. the chief function was to determine the cause of death in cases not obviously natural.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

coroner in Medicine




A public officer whose primary function is to investigate by inquest any death thought to be of other than natural causes.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.