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.

Nearby words

  1. input device,
  2. input-output analysis,
  3. input/output,
  4. inqilab,
  5. inquartation,
  6. inquiet,
  7. inquietude,
  8. inquiline,
  9. inquilinous,
  10. inquire

Origin of inquest

1250–1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin inquēsta, equivalent to Latin in- in-2 + quaesīta, plural (taken in ML as feminine singular) of quaesītum question (see quest); replacing Middle English enqueste < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin, as above Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inquest

British Dictionary definitions for inquest



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

Word Origin and History for inquest



late 13c., an-queste "legal or judicial inquiry," from Old French enqueste "inquiry," from Vulgar Latin *inquaestia (cf. Italian inchiesta), from fem. past participle of Vulgar Latin *inquirere "inquire" (see inquire).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for inquest




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.