[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. inquiringly,
  2. inquiry,
  3. inquisition,
  4. inquisitionist,
  5. inquisitive,
  6. inquisitor-general,
  7. inquisitorial,
  8. inquisitress,
  9. inquorate,
  10. inradius

Origin of inquisitor

1495–1505; < Latin inquīsītor, equivalent to inquīsī-, variant stem of inquīrere to inquire + -tor -tor

Can be confusedinquirer inquisitor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inquisitor

British Dictionary definitions for inquisitor


/ (ɪnˈkwɪzɪtə) /


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

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