[ in-kwest ]
/ ˈɪn kwɛst /
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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.



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Origin of inquest

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Medieval Latin inquēsta, equivalent to Latin in- + quaesīta, plural (taken in Medieval Latin as feminine singular) of quaesītum “question”; replacing Middle English enqueste, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin, as above; see in-2, quest
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for inquest

British Dictionary definitions for inquest

/ (ˈɪnˌkwɛst) /


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 for inquest

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

Medical definitions for inquest

[ ĭnkwĕst′ ]


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